BUSINESS | Jordan To Reopen Hotels, Cafes In Further Easing Of COVID-19 Lockdown

AMMAN – Jordan said on Thursday it would open hotels and cafes, allowing sporting events without spectators and shorten a night curfew as of Saturday, further easing its coronavirus lockdown that has hit the aid-dependent economy.

But Prime Minister Omar al-Razzan told reporters that while Jordan had now returned to near normality, it would toughen enforcement of social distancing to ensure there were no risk of  a resurgence of infections.

Jordan has withstood the Covid-19 pandemic better than most regional neighbors after taking early steps in mid – March to restrict the mobility of its 10 million people, sealing its borders, imposing a state of emergency and a night curfew.

The government in recent weeks relaxed some measures that had throttled the economy, reopening most businesses and factories to avert mass layoffs and bankruptcies. The economy was already struggling with sluggish growth before the crisis.

Officials said the latest loosening of lockdown measures was prompted by a sharp drop in new infections to less than 10 a day over the past week. There has been 757 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 lung disease and just 9 deaths during the outbreak.

Razzaz said the economy was still reeling from the impact, estimating a contraction of at least 3% compared to the International Monetary Fund’s 2.1 % growth forecast before the health crisis. It is Jordan’s first contraction since 1990.

The closure of firms and disruption of tourism, a critical source of foreign currency, have chocked the economy while layoffs by trouble companies are expect to erode middle-class living standards and deepen poverty among low income groups.

The government, which had earlier announced it would reopen mosques on Friday, said the night curfew would be shortened from Saturday to begin at midnight rather than 7 p.m., and day-long curfews in place every Friday were begin scrapped.

But cinemas, public parks, universities, schools and nurseries will remain closed and any activity involving close social mingling, including weddings, banned, officials said.


SPORTS | Formula One Season Set To Start In Bahrain After Australian Grand Prix Postponement

MILAN – – The start of the Formula One season has been delayed after the Australian Grand Prix was postponed from March to November because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Australian race in Melbourne has been rescheduled from March 21 to November 21. The Chinese GP has also been delayed but no new date has been … Continue reading SPORTS | Formula One Season Set To Start In Bahrain After Australian Grand Prix Postponement

BREAKING NEWS | Investments In Saudi Arabia’s Economy Will Reach Six Trillion Dollars: Crown Prince

AL ULA – – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says major investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia will amount to six trillion dollars over the next ten years, including 3 trillion dollars in investments in new projects, within the framework of the opportunities provided by Vision 2030, reported Saudi Press Agency. Saudi Arabia’s Crown … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Investments In Saudi Arabia’s Economy Will Reach Six Trillion Dollars: Crown Prince

TRAVEL | Saudi Arabia Warns Citizens Against Travel To 12 Countries Without Approval Over Virus Fears

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia warned on Wednesday its citizens against travel without prior approval to 12 countries where the coronavirus pandemic is still not under control.The Interior Ministry said the countries were Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Somalia, Armenia, Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela and Belarus.It added that the same permission applies to other countries … Continue reading TRAVEL | Saudi Arabia Warns Citizens Against Travel To 12 Countries Without Approval Over Virus Fears

ROYALS | Oman Sultan’s Eldest Son Dhi Yazan To Succeed Him, Becoming First Crown Prince

RIYADH – – Oman’s Sultan Haitham will be succeeded by his eldest son Dhi Yazan, according to a new basic law published on Tuesday that creates a new position of crown prince and established succession from ruler to the eldest son. Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said has announced plans for the constitutional change on Monday, … Continue reading ROYALS | Oman Sultan’s Eldest Son Dhi Yazan To Succeed Him, Becoming First Crown Prince

SOCIAL MEDIA | YouTube Suspends Trump’s Channel After Violating Policy On Inciting Violence

Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube said on Tuesday it has suspended Donald Trump’s channel as it violated policies for inciting violence after last week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol by the president’s supporters. Online platforms and social media companies are distancing themselves from, and taking action against, those that encouraged or engaged in the violence in Washington, … Continue reading SOCIAL MEDIA | YouTube Suspends Trump’s Channel After Violating Policy On Inciting Violence

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Congratulates Romanian PM, On Winning President, Parliament Confidence

RIYADH – – HRH Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, has sent a cable of congratulations to Prime Minister of Romanian Florin Citu on obtaining the confidence of the Romanian President as well as the parliament for the office of the prime minister.  HRH … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Congratulates Romanian PM, On Winning President, Parliament Confidence

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi King Congratulates Romanian PM, on Winning President, Parliament Confidence

RIYADH — The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud sent a cable of congratulations to the Romanian Prime Minister Florin Citu, on obtaining the confidence of His Excellency Romanian President as well as the parliament for the office of the Prime Minister. In his cable, the King expressed sincere … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi King Congratulates Romanian PM, on Winning President, Parliament Confidence

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Welcomes Washington’s Designation Of Houthis As Terrorist

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia welcomed on Monday the American admiration’s decision to designate the Iran – backed Houthi militias and their leaders as terrorist. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said the move is in line with the ‘demands of the legitimate Yemeni government to rein in the Houthis over their violations that have … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Welcomes Washington’s Designation Of Houthis As Terrorist

NEWS ALERT | Oman To Get Its First Crown Prince In Constitutional Overhaul

MILAN – – Oman’s sultan announced on Monday  a constitutional shakeup that includes the appointment of crown price for the first time and new rules on how parliament will work, state media said. A new basic law issued by Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq al – Said also emphasizes the role of the state in guaranteeing … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Oman To Get Its First Crown Prince In Constitutional Overhaul

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Receives Italian FM in AlUla

AL ULA – – Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, received in AlUla on Sunday Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio. Talks focused on bilateral relations and the promising opportunities to develop them in all fields. They also tackled regional and international dedvelopments. The meeting was attended by Saudi … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Receives Italian FM in AlUla

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