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Saudi Arabia lifts national curfew, resumes commercial activities

Saudi Arabia lifts national curfew, resumes commercial activities

International travel as well as entry to the kingdom via land and sea will remain suspended

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Saudi Arabia will resume all commercial activities and lift restrictions on movement even as coronavirus cases show no signs of easing.

The curfew will be lifted across the nation from 6am on Sunday, June 21, but international travel and the Muslim pilgrimage known as Umrah will continue to be banned, state-run Saudi Press Agency reported Saturday.

Entry to the kingdom via land or sea is also prohibited.

Social distancing remains in place and wearing of masks is mandatory. Gatherings can’t exceed 50 people.

In the first week of June, Saudi reimposed a partial curfew across the governorate of Jeddah for a period of two weeks from June 6-20 to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus during which attendance to workplaces in Jeddah governorate was suspended for all employees.

Read: Saudi reimposes curfew in Jeddah; curbs on private and public sector operations

However the new easing of the national curfew will include Makkah and Jeddah where additional curfew restrictions which were in place compared to the rest of the kingdom.

On Saturday, June 20, the country reported 3,941 new Covid-19 cases taking the total number of cases detected in the kingdom up to 154,233.

Of the new cases, 740 were recorded in Riyadh, 421 in Jeddah, 354 in Makkah and 285 in Hufof.

It also reported 46 additional deaths. Consequently, 1,230 people have died as a result of the virus.

The Saudi Ministry of Health also said that another 3,153 individuals had recovered from the virus, taking the total number of recoveries up to 98,917.

Alongside with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, around 1,560 mosques in Makkah that have been closed for nearly three months, will also reopen on Sunday morning.

Read: Mosques in Makkah to reopen on Sunday

Over 90,000 mosques in Saudi Arabia reopened across the kingdom in late May as part of the second phase of easing lockdown restrictions.

Read also: Saudi begins phase two of easing lockdown: Mosques reopen, fines revealed for violators

During that second phase of easing of the lockdown restrictions, domestic flights were given the green light to resume operations, travel within the kingdom by varied means of transportation, besides private cars, were permitted, and restaurants and cafés too were allowed to reopen.

With inputs from Bloomberg

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