Jordan reopens main airport after six-month shutdown

Amman (AFP) –


Flights resumed Tuesday at Jordan's main airport after a near six-month shutdown to stem cases of the novel coronavirus.

A Fly Jordan plane carrying 141 passengers from Istanbul landed at Queen Alia Airport near Amman on Tuesday evening, according to the airport's website.

It was the first scheduled commercial flight to arrive since Jordan shut its airports and suspended international flights in mid-March.

Restrictions have hit Jordan's key tourism industry.

In a normal year, five million visitors come to Jordan. Tourism generates 14 percent of GDP and employs some 100,000 people.

King Abdullah II and Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz visited the airport ahead of the resumption of flights.

"The reopening of the airport comes as several essential requirements were met," Razzaz said, according to a statement.

Thermal temperature scanners and other testing equipment have been installed at the airport.

Depending on where they are arriving from, some passengers will have to go into quarantine.

Authorities say a maximum of three international flights will be initially allowed to land per day, but that will double next week.

Jordan, which has recorded 2,581 cases of coronavirus including 19 deaths, imposed tough lockdown restrictions, including using drones to monitor the streets. Lockdown measures were eased in early June.