Saudi Arabia get-tough COVID policy

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Regulations for visiting stadiums in Saudi Arabia Image: Arab News

The Ministry of Interior (Saudi Arabia) has clarified on November 3rd that wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing are mandatory for those who enter stadiums and big event halls. The exemptions from this are given only in open spaces like public parks and walkways.

The ‘Saudi Gazette’ quoted an official source at the Ministry of Interior as urging all citizens and expatriates in the Kingdom to receive booster dose of coronavirus vaccine once they completed six months after taking the second dose of the vaccine – “Based on the report of the competent health authorities regarding the definitions of public places and their health controls, open spaces mean those places that are not covered and not surrounded by borders such as public parks and pedestrian walkways, which are open to all, without any entry requirements or arrangements from a supervisor.”

The official source further stated, “The open spaces do not include sports stadiums, event halls which are designed to host 500 or more people at the same time, regardless of the number of actual attendees.”

The source laid stress that it is necessary to comply with wearing masks while present at these places or attend any events there.

The Ministry of Interior is one of the Governmental bodies of Saudi Arabia responsible for national security, naturalization, immigration, and customs in Saudi Arabia.

The ‘Saudi Gazette’ further stated that the source called on all citizens and expatriates who have completed six months after taking second jab of the vaccine to quickly obtain the booster dose, with the aim of strengthening the herd immunity.

The Ministry stressed that all organizers of events and activities must verify, through the Tawakkalna application, the health status of those who attend these activities.

Tawakkalna (COVID-19 KSA) is the official Saudi Contact Tracing app. The app provides instant and live information about the number of coronavirus infections in the Kingdom, and helps in the early detection of possible infections once users show coronavirus symptoms.

The source reiterated the continued application of all precautionary measures, including wearing a mask and keeping physical distancing at places where the immunization status is not verified such as mosques, public utility markets including vegetable and livestock markets, fish markets and slaughterhouses, as well as at small shops including electrical, carpentry and plumbing shops, car workshops, and passages and open yards of commercial complexes.

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