Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz orders curfew from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. for a period of 21 days, effective from Monday evening, to limit the spread of coronavirus in the Kingdom.
The Ministry of Interior shall take the necessary measures to implement the curfew, and all civil and military authorities must cooperate fully with the Ministry in this regard, according to Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Authorities urged citizens to stay at home during the curfew, and not to venture outside except in cases of extreme necessity in the period when the ban does not apply, as preserving public health has become one of the most important duties, and not to expose themselves and their country to the risk of coronavirus pandemic.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques issues curfew order to limit spread of Novel Coronavirus from seven in the evening until six in the morning for 21 days starting in the evening of Monday 23 March.https://t.co/bxFIN0OfAA#SPAGOV pic.twitter.com/HqioVzBlNQ— SPAENG (@Spa_Eng) March 22, 2020
Exceptions to the curfew
Employees of vital public and private sectors are excepted from the curfew.
These include people working in the security, military, and media.
Workers in the sensitive health and service sectors, such as those who work in clinics or pharmacies, in the financial sector, the telecommunications sector, and the water sector have also been excluded from the curfew.
Employees in the food sector, the media sector, the residential sector, and the e-commerce sector are also excluded from the curfew.
Read the latest updates in our dedicated coroanvirus section.
Saudi Arabia moves to slow the spread
The curfew is the latest measure aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus in the Kingdom.
On Sunday, the Kingdom confirmed 119 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of cases in the country to 511, the spokesman for the Ministry of Health Mohammed al-Abd al-Ali said.
In response to the global pandemic, the Kingdom has introduced far-reaching measures aimed at protecting its residents from the deadly virus. Malls and parks have been closed, citizens urged to stay at home, and restaurants banned from serving food on their premises.
See the full list of facts on what is banned and canceled in the Kingdom here.
The measures appear to be having an effect. On Sunday, footage from the city of Jeddah showed it nearly deserted, with data reporting a massive drop in traffic as people stay indoors.