COVID-19 in Jordan & Onsite Studies

COVID-19 | Health & Safety Guidelines

(Approximate Reading Time: 15 Minutes)

Last Updated: October 30, 2022

We hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well.

Over the past few months, we’ve received a number of questions about the (1) health/safety situation in Jordan and (2) the status of in-person instruction at Qasid. To that end, we’ve put together this page to cover:

  • The current status of COVID-19 in Jordan
  • In-person instruction
  • Guidance for when in-person instruction restarts
    • What the Jordanian government is doing
    • What Qasid is doing
    • What you can do
  • A note on staying calm and treating others with respect
  • Important contact information

There is a significant amount of detail below. Please read (and re-read) carefully and reach out to us with any questions (contact information below).

Important notes:

(1) Those traveling to Jordan are no longer required to take a PCR test prior to their departure or upon arrival. As individual airlines may have separate requirements, please make sure to check with your airline before traveling

(2) Based on guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, students are no longer required to be vaccinated in order to participate in the program

The Current Status of COVID-19 in Jordan

In Jordan, we’re grateful that, due to a number of early preventative measures taken by local authorities, the spread of the virus was relatively limited up until the beginning of August 2020. In the months that followed, there was a noticeable increase in cases. Whereas in July 2020 we may have had 5-10 new cases on a given day, in October 2020 it was normal to have more than 3000. Additionally, the effect of COVID-19 on the local population has been significant: a nationwide curfew, the closure of airports and all bordering crossings until early September 2020, and the tragic passing of more than 13000 members of Jordanian society (amongst a host of other challenges).

Recently, as seen globally, the daily positivity rate has increased noticeably due to the spread of the Omicron variant. While we are hopeful that the peak of this wave is near, local authorities remain cautious.

Once again, we express our sincere thanks to the Jordanian authorities who are working very hard to keep all of us safe.

In-Person Instruction

For most of 2020 and into 2021, the Jordanian Ministry of Education kept all instruction for schools, universities, and private institutes (like Qasid) online. Starting in early-February 2021, schools were allowed to return to in-person teaching based on a hybrid schedule, however, universities and private institutes remained online.

As of July 1, 2021, the Jordanian government has given the green light to educational institutions to return to in-person instruction. As such, we restarted our on-site program in September 2021.

Guidance for In-Person Instruction

What the Jordanian Government is Doing:

Local authorities have taken a number of steps in order to try and control/minimize the spread of COVID-19 in-country.

Among these steps are the following:

  • The creation of a National Preparedness and Response Operational Plan for COVID-19. This plan was created in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • The Jordanian Ministry of Health (MoH) has set up an emergency call center with a hotline number +962 778 410 186
    • We kindly ask that all students and staff save this number in their phones and call it in case of medical need
  • All travelers entering Jordan are required to:
  • Health care providers at all entry points to Jordan have been trained in how to identify and handle cases of COVID-19
  • The MoH has created Rapid Response Teams that are ready to quickly investigate and treat any suspected cases of the virus
  • Educational and awareness related materials have been created and distributed (Arabic and English) in order to debunk rumors and counter any false information being spread about the virus amongst the public
  • Mandating social distance and mask protocols in all non-residential buildings, offices, businesses and public buildings. Non-compliance is punishable by fines and possible jail time for repeat offenses (Note: Currently, and as of the spring 2022, local authorities are not requiring masking or social distancing).

Additionally, the government has worked hard to make testing sites widely available. To that end, the following private labs provide PCR tests at a fixed rate of 20 JOD/approx. 40 USD (subject to change) with test results ready within 24 hours (list is not exhaustive):

Finally, the underlying capacity in the health care sector has been increased in order to handle current levels of COVID in country and possible increases. To that end, the government has approved the following hospitals (some public, others private) in providing treatment to COVID patients:

What Qasid is Doing:

In our regular discussions with local/international health and security officials over the past year, it has been made clear that the best actions we can take on an individual and institutional level are to (1) focus on implementing proper hygiene, (2) maintain proper social distancing, and (3) require masks and vaccination for all students and staff (Note: Currently, local authorities are not requiring masking, social distancing or vaccination).

To that end, we installed a number of hand sanitizing pumps throughout Qasid, increased our janitorial staff in both number and supplies, and will follow any/all local policies as they relate to wearing masks and vaccination (see below in “What You Can Do” for more details).

Additionally, we are in regular communication with the Jordanian Ministry of Health and Border Security Services in order to keep up-to-date on any/all travel restrictions so as to pass those messages onto students/staff immediately.

Finally, our staff are prepared to assist students in arranging:

  • PCR tests and/or
  • Treatment at local labs/hospitals
  • Separate housing for those who test positive at the airport and/or while in Jordan and are required to home quarantine for 5 days
    • Please note that each student will be responsible for full payment for any tests, treatment, or costs associated with home quarantine (rent, food, utilities, etc.) Accordingly, we strongly recommend that those who choose to travel to Jordan check with their home insurance company well before departure to determine what will/will not be covered during their time abroad.

What You Can Do:

Based on the advice of the experts we have consulted, we’d like to offer the following advice. Please note that our area of expertise is not health care. As such, the following suggestions are not our own. Rather, they have been gleaned from the advice of local and international authorities. For specific advice on what actions to take for your own health care, please make sure to contact a medical practitioner (see contact information at the end of this email).

  • Get vaccinated
    • Those who have not been vaccinated and, barring any specific health exemptions, are encouraged to get vaccinated prior to traveling to Jordan.
  • Get Health Insurance
    • The Jordanian government is requiring all non-Jordanian nationals to have medical travel insurance in order to enter the country. Please check with your airline and see here for more details.
  • Practice Good Hygiene:
    • The following link contains very useful information provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) on how, on an individual level, you can best protect yourself from COVID-19:
  • Practice Situational Awareness
  • Practice Factual Awareness
    • The following link from WHO contains useful “myth-busting” information that can help in keeping us “factually-aware” of how to handle the current situation:
  • Practice Personal Awareness
    • If you have any of the following symptoms, please (1) get in touch with us immediately (contact numbers below) and (2) stay at home. We will help you get in touch with local health professionals who can advise on next steps:
      • Fever or chills
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fatigue
      • Muscle or body aches
      • Headache
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • Sore throat
      • Congestion or runny nose
      • Nausea or vomiting
A Note on Staying Calm and Treating Others with Respect

In difficult situations, it is normal to worry and be concerned about one’s safety and that of others. This is a natural instinct and, if directed properly, can go a long way towards solving any crisis. Still, an unfortunate reality of crises is that they can cause panic as well. The negative effects of panic are myriad and, in the end, the best way to solve issues of the scale we are discussing here is through calm and collected planning. By staying calm, aware, and diligently applying the advice of health experts, we all do our part in beating this epidemic.

On a separate but related note, it is important for all of us to be aware of how our statements and actions effect others. Our attempts at staying safe should never come at the cost of making others feel suspect based on their nationality or cultural background. Worldwide, individuals with certain cultural backgrounds have been discriminated against, made to feel that they are a danger to public safety, and in some cases, physically attacked. The situation in Jordan is no different. It is crucial for us to avoid judging others and to leave the task of identifying who needs medical assistance to those who are trained to do so.

Important Contact Information
  • Omar Matadar | Director | +962 776 703 222 |
  • Ayman Aladarbeh | Student Services | +962 776 553 366 |
  • Jordanian Ministry of Health (Emergency Call Center) | +962 778 410 186