Jordan blew sirens at the start of a nationwide curfew on Saturday, limiting the mobility of its 10 million citizens indefinitely to combat the spread of coronavirus, witnesses and officials said.
Anyone violating the curfew, which severely restricts movement beyond emergencies and essential services, can be jailed up to a year, the army said.
“Anyone going outside will be subjecting themselves to punishment,” Bassam Talhouni, Justice Minister told Jordan’s Al Mamlaka news channel.
The curfew, in which thousands of soldiers have been deployed inside cities and on main highways across the country, is in place until further notice.
Armored police vehicles roamed the streets of main cities, calling on people to heed warnings not to leave their homes, witnesses said.
Streets across the capital and main cities were deserted, with shops shuttered as police patrolled neighborhoods and the army manned checkpoints, witnesses said.
Jordan has closed land and sea border crossings with Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Israel, and suspended all incoming and outgoing flights since Tuesday.
King Abdullah enacted an emergency decree giving the government sweeping powers to enforce an army-imposed curfew and other measures that restrict civil and political liberties.