Jordan lifts all curbs on economic activity in latest easing of lockdown

FILE PHOTO: People are seen at a commercial street as they shop ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, amid concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Amman, Jordan April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed/File Photo

AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan said on Sunday it had lifted all restrictions on economic activity in the latest easing of coronavirus lockdown rules to help jump-start the cash-strapped economy.

Jordan has in the last two weeks been lifting restrictions to allow businesses back to work, but with lower levels of staff and strict social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tariq Hammouri said businesses and industries would now be able to resume production.

Public transport will be allowed to return to full normal service with safety guidelines following the outbreak, but universities and schools will remain closed and a night curfew will continue.

Jordan has reported 460 confirmed coronavirus cases and nine deaths but says it has now contained the outbreak.

The government of Prime Minister Omar al Razzaz won widespread praise for quick moves to curb the spread of the coronavirus. But as the economic impact deepened, the government faced criticism from business groups and there were fears of social unrest.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Timothy Heritage