The national carrier Royal Jordanian has been bleeding millions of dollars following the stoppage of flights. Delays in resumption of services was adding to its woes. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Abu DhabI: Jordan will resume regular international flights starting September 8 to help revive an economy badly hit by COVID-19, and after delaying the move several times over the past month.

“Passengers entering Jordan would need proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel, alongside a compulsory test on arrival, “ government spokesman Amjad Adailah said.

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Adailah said the rules would include a minimum one week of self-isolation to a maximum two weeks of quarantine for foreign travellers depending on the severity of the pandemic in countries they came from. Jordan has repeatedly postponed reopening Amman’s Alia International Airport, a regional hub, over fears that travelers could bring about a spike in infections.

But in recent days worries have mounted over the impact of further delays on the debt-burdened economy. Jordan has seen almost a doubling of cases in the last month to a total of 2,161 along with 15 deaths — a much smaller known toll than in many other Middle East countries — but authorities remain worried about a severe outbreak.

The airport closure dealt a damaging blow to the aid-dependent economy by paralyzing tourism, a major revenue source that was enjoying an unprecedented boom before the pandemic crisis. The government was also under popular pressure to reopen regular flights to allow the return of thousands of Jordanians who lost jobs in Gulf states due to COVID-19 outbreaks there.