May 11, 2020 / 4:16 PM / 17 days ago

UPDATE 1-Jordanian civil servants to return to work on May 26 - government

(Adds new details and background)

AMMAN, May 11 (Reuters) - Jordan’s cabinet decided on Monday to allow civil servants to return to work on May 26 following a break of around two months imposed as part of measures to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, the government spokesman said.

Amjad al Adailah said that the civil servants, who comprise the bulk of Jordan’s public sector, would return after a three-day Muslim Eid holiday that will mark the end of Ramadan.

The government will also maintain a night curfew until further notice despite the easing of a tight lockdown over the last two weeks that has allowed most businesses to resume work, he added.

Officials speak privately of concerns that layoffs and bankruptcies triggered by the lockdown will exacerbate poverty and unemployment and possibly lead to civil unrest.

But a spike in new coronavirus cases last week among truck drivers arriving from Jordan’s main border crossing with Saudi Arabia briefly prompted the government to reconsider its relaxation of rules on mobility of people and cars between governates.

Jordan’s health minister reported on Monday 22 new cases of the virus, raising the total to 562, including nine deaths.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi Editing by Gareth Jones

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