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Source: US Global Legal Monitor

(Nov. 12, 2020) On October 10, 2020, the Kingdom of Jordan entered a nationwide 48-hour lockdown for the first time in months due to a new spike in COVID-19 cases. In response to the new spike in cases, three Jordanian executive bodies—the Ministry of Interior (homeland security), the Ministry of Health, and the Office of Government Accountability—have issued new executive decrees to monitor the compliance of Jordanian citizens with a number of preventive measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The executive decrees, which were published in the Jordanian official gazette, are as follows:

  1. Instructions to Monitor the Compliance of Jordanian Citizens with Preventive Measures to Combat the Spread of the COVID-19 Virus
  2. Instructions to Monitor the Cases of New Infections of the COVID-19 Virus and Reporting Those Cases
  3. Instructions to Monitor the Compliance of Jordanian Government Employees with Preventive Measures to Combat the Spread of the COVID-19 Virus

Instructions to Monitor the Compliance of Jordanian Citizens with Preventive Measures to Combat the Spread of the COVID-19 Virus

In this decree, the Minister of Interior orders the governors of the provinces and the directorates of public security to select specific security individuals to monitor the compliance of store and restaurant owners with the preventive measures. (Arts. 1–3.) The decree grants security individuals the power to issue tickets to store and restaurant owners and to shut down their establishments if necessary. (Art. 4.)

Store and restaurant owners would be in violation of the preventive measures if they

  1. do not maintain social distance among customers, which is 2 meters (6 feet);
  2. do not comply with the limits set on the number of persons permitted to be inside a store or a restaurant;
  3. do not obligate customers to wear face masks inside a restaurant or a store; and
  4. do not comply with the opening and closing schedule determined by the security authorities. (Art. 5.)

Finally, all tickets will be referred to the first instance court that has a geographical jurisdiction over the restaurant or store in violation. (Art. 6 (c).) No punishments are mentioned in the decree.

Instructions to Monitor the Cases of New Infections of the COVID-19 Virus and Reporting Those Cases

According to this decree, the Minister of Health will select a number of employees at the Health Ministry to monitor whether hospitals and clinics comply with the preventive measures. (Art. 2 (a).) Those employees have the power to issue tickets to hospitals and clinics in violation of the preventive measures. (Art. 2(b).)

Hospitals and clinics would be in violation if they

  1. do not report all COVID-19 cases admitted into health facilities to the Ministry of Health,
  2. do not comply with all health procedures to prevent infections within the health facilities, and
  3. do not comply with the instructions issued by the commission on pandemics. (Art. 3 (a).)

The Ministry of Health will refer the tickets against the violating health facilities to the Ministry of Interior and the directorates of general security. (Art. 4.) Tickets issued to violating health facilities will be referred to the first instance court that has geographical jurisdiction over those facilities. (Art. 2(d).) No punishments are mentioned in the decree.

Instructions to Monitor the Compliance of Jordanian Government Employees with Preventive Measures to Combat the Spread of the COVID-19 Virus

In accordance with this decree, the head of the Office of Government Accountability has the power to monitor the compliance of Jordanian government employees with preventive measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 inside government buildings. (Art. 2.)

This decree, which was issued by the head of the Office of Government Accountability, requires that government employees adopt the following preventive measures:

  1. Check their body temperature daily before they go to work
  2. Install the “AMAN” COVID-19 mobile tracing app on their mobile devices
  3. Be sure to wear a face mask all the time that they are inside government buildings
  4. Maintain a social distance of six feet while in contact with their coworkers
  5. Work in shifts to reduce the number of employees inside the government building, and wash their hands with soap and use hand sanitizers regularly. (Art. 3.)

The head of each government agency will select a number of employees from the agency to monitor the compliance of other government employees with the aforementioned preventive measures. (Art. 5.) Those employees have the power to issue tickets to a government employee who is in violation of the preventive measures. (Art. 6 (a).) The names of the violators will be referred to the head of the government agency where those employees work to impose a fine that will be deducted from their salary. (Art. 7.)

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