Businesses feel pinch of Defence Order No. 35

[04-01-2022 10:02 AM]

Ammon News - Defence Order No. 35 of 2021 that came into effect as of January 1 2022 has drawn the ire of commerce and services sectors.

The defence order states that only individuals over the age of 18, who received both shots of COVID-19 vaccine are allowed to enter public and private institutions in the Kingdom, according to the Prime Ministry’s website.

“The trade sector in the Kingdom has been suffering for two years due to the pandemic. The sector is not responsible for the spread of the virus, although we always end up paying the price,” Khaleel Haj Tawfiq, president of the Amman Chamber of Commerce, said.

Haj Tawfiq noted that individuals who do not receive the vaccine should pay the penalties instead of the institutions.

“We urge the government to make an exception for small and medium enterprises from Defence Order No. 35”, Haj Tawfiq said.

As per Defence Order No. 35, most of the institutions face a fine JD1,000 for first time violation, JD3,000 for second time violation and JD5,000 for third time violation, and shall face a one-week closure for repeat violations after that.

“The cost of hiring a full-time employee to only check vaccination certificate should not be on the employer,” Sanad Masarweh, owner of a supermarket in Amman, said.

Employers are struggling to make ends meet, according to Masarweh.

“Most of the shoppers are switching to online shopping to save themselves the headache of wearing masks and showing vaccination certificate, therefore, we are not having the same traffic as we used to have pre-pandemic,” Masarweh said.

He also pointed to “the cost of hiring an employee to check vaccination certificates in addition to the stress of having 14 different inspection teams that visit the supermarkets on daily basis”.

“Non-vaccinated individuals should not be deprived from visiting banks,” customer service officer at a bank, who preferred to remain anonymous, told The Jordan Times.

“Most of our clients visit the bank to put their monthly payment cheques in their accounts, apply for a loan or withdraw big amounts from their accounts. Those services cannot be offered through ATMs or even through online banking. Therefore, decision makers are advised to reconsider exempting some sensitive sectors from Defence Order No. 35,” he said.


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