Jordan announces round-the-clock curfew from Saturday

The Jordanian army was deployed this week to enforce directives calling on the population not to leave their homes except for emergencies to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus

Jordan will impose a round-the-clock curfew from Saturday morning until further notice to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, the government announced.

The exceptional measure, to be applied for an indefinite period, was taken after "citizens did not respect directives" calling on them not to leave their homes except for extreme emergencies, government spokesman Amjad Adayleh said on Friday.

Adayleh warned that lack of compliance with the curfew would result in "immediate imprisonment, which will not exceed one year".

The kingdom has reported 69 cases of the COVID-19 disease, with no deaths so far.

"In view of the exceptional circumstances in the world and in our region and to avoid epidemics, a curfew will come into force from Saturday at 7:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) and until further notice in all regions of the kingdom," Adayleh, who is also the minister of state for media affairs, said at a news conference in the capital Amman.

All shops will be closed and authorities will announce on Tuesday the "specific times according to specific procedures" for the population to get supplies, he added.

"Unfortunately, in the past two days, citizens did not respect directives and have been out in the streets and markets. This poses a great danger to their health and safety."

Earlier this week, the army was deployed to enforce directives calling on the population to "only leave their homes in cases of force majeure".

Jordanian authorities also banned travel between provinces and sealed off the capital as well as suspending public transport and flights.

Only bakeries and pharmacies have remained open.