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    Gov’t decision to extend closure of sports, fitness centres draws negative response

    May 20, 2021

    AMMAN — The government decision to extend the closure of a number of sectors, including technical and vocational training academies and fitness centres until further notice, has drawn negative reactions from the public.

    The government has extended the closure of sports centres, academies and gyms until further notice, the Official Gazette reported on Tuesday.

    The announcement, signed by Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Bashir Al Khasawneh, said: “The provisions of regulations (I) and (II) of Circular No. 27 of 2021 shall be extended until further notice.”

    Circular No. 27 of 2021, issued based on Defence Order No.19 of 2020, states: Nightclubs, bars and discos shall be closed. Counters serving alcohol in tourist restaurants and Turkish and Eastern baths shall remain closed as well. Sports centres and gyms, indoor swimming pools in hotels, residential and tourist complexes and public swimming pools and equestrian clubs shall also remain closes, according to regulation No.1.

    According to regulation No. 2: Technical and vocational training academies that are not subject to the Education Law will remain closed.

    A penalty is imposed on: “The owner and/or manager of an enterprise that violates both No.1 and No.2 regulations of this circular shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine of no less than JD500 and no more than JD3000, or both.”

    Under the circular, the prime minister has the right “to extend the provisions of this circular or amend any of its provisions in light of the epidemiological situation”, according to the Official Gazette.

    Loay Ahmad, a Jordanian citizen, hopes that the government reconsiders this decision and reopens technical and vocational training academies in the near future.

    “These academies allow youth to learn about certain crafts and enhance their knowledge and creativity, and by so allowing them to get better chances at getting employed. In the current difficult times, the closure of these academies will result in decreasing employment prospects,” Ahmad added.

    “I believe that these academies can reopen without any risks by applying all of the required measures such as physical distancing and wearing masks at all times,” he noted.

    Moreover, Shadi Abdelaziz, who works at a non-profit organisation, expressed hopes that the government would reconsider the decision.

    “With low numbers of COVID cases, the government should consider reopening gyms all the while enforcing strict health measures,” Abdelaziz told The Jordan Times

    Dana Audallah, who works at a private company, said: “I am looking forward to be back at the gym, in order to improve my fitness level and I am 100 per cent sure that the gym will take all precautions to keep the environment clean, comfortable and safe for all of us.”


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