Article Jordan; Saudi Arabia; Egypt: COVID Restrictions Eased during Month of Ramadan

The Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Arab Republic of Egypt have each implemented measures to ease COVID-19 pandemic restrictions during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which started at sundown on Saturday, April 2, and ends at sundown on Sunday, May 1, with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr beginning at sundown on Monday, May 2.

Jordan

On March 21, 2022, Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs Faisal Shboul announced that, on the recommendation of the Jordanian National Committee of Epidemics, COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted ahead of the month of Ramadan. However, the wearing of masks in closed locations is still mandatory.

According to the minister, the social distancing requirement during congregational prayers in mosques has been removed. Also, the limitation on the number of people attending social events, such as weddings, funerals, and the Ramadan Iftar (breaking the fast after fasting hours), has been canceled.

Additionally, Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh issued Defense Order No. 36 of 2002 on March 24, 2022, which revised restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Defense Order No. 36 stipulates that prayers are allowed to take place inside mosques but that worshipers must not exceed the capacity requirement of the mosque and they must also wear masks while inside the mosque. The order allows charity meals to take place during Ramadan and restaurants to use their maximum capacity to receive dine-in customers.

The order does not mention if those measures will be canceled or scaled back after the end of Ramadan.

Saudi Arabia

On March 6, 2022, Saudi authorities announced that restrictions concerning COVID-19 prevention measures were lifted. Accordingly, there were no travel bans between provinces, and families would be allowed to gather during Ramadan.

The Saudi minister of interior, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud, issued a statement on March 30, 2022, asserting that the social distancing requirement among worshipers in both the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet Mosque in Medina were repealed. However, worshipers were still required to wear face masks. Moreover, the Interior Ministry had suspended the application of social distancing measures in all places (closed and open), and at all activities and events. Additionally, it announced that it was not requiring the submission of a negative result for a PCR test or a Rapid Antigen Test before entering the kingdom. Likewise, the ministry canceled the application of institutional and home quarantine imposed on travelers coming into the country. Finally, the ministry lifted the ban on travel to and from 17 countries that had been instituted during the pandemic.  

Egypt

On March 29, 2022, the Supreme Committee for the Management of the Epidemic and Health Pandemic Crisis affiliated with the Egyptian Cabinet issued Decree No. 2 of 2022, lifting for Ramadan this year the COVID-19 restrictions that had been imposed during Ramadan of 2020 and 2021. The committee agreed to allow mosques to open for the Taraweeh special prayers during the month of Ramadan in 2022. Taraweeh prayers were suspended during the month of Ramadan in 2020 and 2021. Also, the committee authorized the resumption of traditional celebrations during Ramadan, including charity meals.

Furthermore, the Cairo Metro has extended its hours until 2:00 a.m. during Ramadan. Similarly, all shops, malls, restaurants, and cafes will be open to the public until 2:00 a.m.

Event venues operating under the supervision of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture have planned to host activities during the month of Ramadan as they used to do before 2020.

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Jordan; Saudi Arabia; Egypt: COVID Restrictions Eased during Month of Ramadan. 2022. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-04-29/jordan-saudi-arabia-egypt-covid-restrictions-eased-during-month-of-ramadan/.

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(2022) Jordan; Saudi Arabia; Egypt: COVID Restrictions Eased during Month of Ramadan. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-04-29/jordan-saudi-arabia-egypt-covid-restrictions-eased-during-month-of-ramadan/.

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Jordan; Saudi Arabia; Egypt: COVID Restrictions Eased during Month of Ramadan. 2022. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-04-29/jordan-saudi-arabia-egypt-covid-restrictions-eased-during-month-of-ramadan/>.

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