Jordan: Full Lockdown and 5-star Quarantine

Abdullah II. bin Al-Hussein

Name? Abdullah II. bin Al-Hussein

Official position? King of Jordan

Age? 58, King since 1999

What are the measures employed? Since March 18th, Jordan has been on complete lockdown and we are talking more complete than Spain or Italy. Jordanians are not even allowed to do their own grocery shopping, the military will deliver it to their doorstep. Another interesting policy is that people who arrived in Jordan before the complete closure of the borders are not quarantined… in five star hotels at the dead sea. With only 112 cases so far, the most drastic measures we have heard of so far seem a little over the top. But, considering that the Jordanian health system is in no way comparable to Europe, the King’s reaction seems appropriate in the eyes of most Jordanians. And Abdullah II. is serious about these measures as around 1000 people have been arrested already for violating the curfew.

Why do I care? I am in quarantine in Germany with bad weather and I have to do my own grocery shopping. I think I could get used to the Jordanian quarantine if you ask me.

View from Joelle Nassar’s quarantine. By: Joelle Nassar

Why should you care? Jokes aside, no one is currently living their best life and the personal reports seem quite serious. I briefly talked to Joelle Nassar and she described the quarantine as follows: 

“I arrived on the 16th of March (and) was ordered to be placed in compulsory quarantine for 14 days, for my own safety and the safety of everyone else. All arrivals were sent to different 4/5 star hotels in both the dead sea and the capital Amman. Once we arrived at the hotel we each got given a separate hotel room and were offered three meals a day.”

Joelle Nassar

Once I asked about how she felt in the hotel she explained further:

“Everyone in quarantine feels isolated, but I feel it is tougher on us as we are all alone in one single room for 14 days with barely any human interaction, so it takes quite a toll on the person’s mental health”. 

Joelle Nassar

What do the people think about it? As with every crisis, the poorest of society are usually hit the hardest and that is not any different in Jordan. But Jordanians have already called for a collective “vacation” after the crisis in order to boost income for small businesses. Overall, Jordanians are being united by Abdullah II. calling for action (or rather no action for now). He has the power to unite and he is using it, making most of the population feel satisfied with their government.

Any further comments? Thank you very much to my friend Ban Beidas and her contact Joelle Nassar for the input and the pictures. I appreciate your help a lot and hope you and your loved ones remain healthy.

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator