Amman, Jordan is a fantastic location to study Arabic, especially if you are learning the spoken Levantine dialect. Not only is Jordan safe, but the local Arabs whocall this country home are among the most hospitable people in the world. Whether you are studying Modern Standard Arabic, or the local Levantine dialect, Amman has become an ideal location for Arabic language students from around the world. The Economist recently reported that Jordan leads the way in Arabic language training.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Jordan has instituted numerous steps to keep citizens and guests safe, earning the country a “Safe Travels” award by the World Travel and Tourism Council. Getting to Jordan at this time, however, is not as easy as buying a ticket and flying over. If you are traveling to Jordan to study Arabic, make sure you have completed the following steps before getting on the plane.
What you need to do before coming to Jordan during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Take a PCR test 72 hours before your departure. This is required of everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Note that this needs to be a PCR test, not a rapid-result test. The test must be taken within 72 hours of your departure. The results for PCR tests take longer than rapid tests, so make sure you plan ahead of time. In the U.S., there are a number of pharmacies that offer free PCR tests (CVS for example). You’ll need to have a negative COVID-19 test result printed out to show when checking in at the airport from your first departure point, so make sure you can get the results before you fly out.
- Apply online to travel to Jordan. Everyone (5 years old and up) is required to apply to travel to Jordan on the Gateway 2 Jordan website. This site collects your relevant information, including if you have been vaccinated or not, and will generate a QR code. Print this QR code out and have it ready when you arrive in Jordan. Health staff at the airport will scan your QR code and direct you to the next step:
- If you have been vaccinated and your vaccination certificate has been approved, you will not need to take a PCR test upon arrival. You will receive a document with a green V and check mark.
- If you have not been vaccinated, you will need to take a PCR test at the airport. Conveniently, there are dozens of booths lining the arrival hall. Health staff will do a swab test and stick a new QR code sticker on the back of your passport. You’ll be able to scan this sticker with your phone to see your test results (results times can vary from 45 minutes to 4 hours). Note that if you have not been vaccinated, you will need to pay in advance for your PCR test at the airport (28.50 JOD, approximately $40 USD). After filling out your information on the Gateway 2 Jordan website, you will be taken to a page where you will pay for your airport PCR test.
Print health insurance information. At your departure airport check-in counter, you will need to show proof of health insurance that is valid for Jordan. Make sure you have your insurance cards or proper documentation with you. If you do not know if your health insurance will cover you while traveling, please check in advance.
- Print your vaccination certificate. If you are vaccinated, print your vaccination certificate and bring it with you. You may need to present this certificate at your departure airport as well as when arriving to Jordan.
While international travel has become a bit more difficult as a result of COVID-19, Jordan has taken great steps to protect travelers as well as their citizens from increased infections. If you do become ill while studying Arabic in Amman, please self-quarantine and take a COVID-19 test. There are various drive through testing sites, as well as walk in options.