Saudi Arabia: Face masks no longer required to be worn in most public spaces
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Saudi Arabia: Face masks no longer required to be worn in most public spaces

Saudi Arabia: Face masks no longer required to be worn in most public spaces

The Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will also be allowed to operate at full capacity

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has introduced sweeping new measures to ease Covid-19 restrictions in the country in light of a fall in the number of reported cases in the country.

Starting Sunday, October 17, an official source at the Ministry of Interior said that wearing masks is no longer mandatory in open places, except for the excluded places, while continuing to be mandatory in closed areas.

A separate set of easing of restrictions will apply to those who have received both doses of the vaccine. For these individuals, there will be no social distancing measures for them to observe at social gatherings, in public places, means of transportation, restaurants, and cinemas. These spaces will also be allowed to operate at full capacity.

Furthermore, there will no longer be any restrictions on the number of attendees of at events in wedding halls.

The authorities have also announced that the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be permitted to operate at full capacity. However, face masks are mandatory for visitors and workers at all times at both these mosques. The Eatmarna or Tawakkalna apps will continue to be used for obtaining a permit to perform Umrah, obtaining a permit to pray or visit Al Rawdah, and to limit the number of worshippers present within the mosques.

Social distancing and wearing masks will continue to be applicable in facilities where health status checks cannot be verified through the Tawakkalna app.

The public and private sector offices are required to check the immunization status of all those who enter their facilities via the Tawakkalna app.

Starting from October 17, the kingdom’s Ministry of Sports also announced that sports stadiums and facilities will begin to operate at full capacity. Entry of individuals to these facilities will however be limited to people who have received both doses of the vaccine. Inside, the wearing of face masks will be mandatory.

The official at the interior ministry said that relevant authorities around the country will prescribe penalties for violators of any of the precautionary and preventive measures that remain in effect in the kingdom. The source added that the measures are subject to review as the health ministry will continue to evaluate the number of Covid-19 related hospitalizations and then advise on whether the precautionary measures need to be tightened once again.

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