Middle East

Jordan’s civil servants return to work after two months break

AMMAN (Reuters) — Jordan’s public sector employees began a phased return to work on Tuesday, more than two months after they were told to stay at home under a coronavirus lockdown, officials said.

Most of the country’s 250,000 civil servants had not been working in their offices since a state of emergency was declared in mid-March.

Sameh al Nasser, the head of the civil service commission, said that about 60 percent of civil servants were expected to show up for work under a gradual plan involving social distancing.

Schools, universities and border crossings were closed and international flights were halted under the lockdown, but tens of thousands of state employees in the medical services, civil defense, customs, security forces and army continued working to maintain essential services.

The government said at the end of last month it had contained the coronavirus outbreak, and many restrictions have of the lockdown restrictions have been lifted, with most businesses and industries now open again.

Jordan has reported 711 confirmed coronavirus cases, with nine deaths. Some medical officials have warned there could be a new rise in infections after the easing of the restrictions.


Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi, Editing by Timothy Heritage

Image: People wearing protective face masks wait to complete their paper work in the Civil Status Department after Jordan’s public sector employees returned gradually to work, two months after they were ordered to stay home as part of a tight lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Amman, Jordan May 26, 2020. (REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)

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