Shops and commercial establishments in Saudi Arabia can remain open during prayer times in the Kingdom, Saudi media reported quoting a circular issued by the Federation of Saudi Chambers on Thursday.
The federation said in its directive that commercial and economic activities can also continue throughout the working hours, including the prayer times.
The federation explained that this decision is part of the precautionary measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, as well as to ensure the health and safety of shoppers and customers.
It also aims at avoiding customers crowding as well as gatherings near shops when they remain shuttered during prayer times five times a day.
In a statement, the federation also underlined that the move is aimed at improving the shopping experience and raising the level of services provided to shoppers and clients.
The federation said that the decision was taken after having made the necessary coordination with the relevant authorities.
“We hope you will continue to keep shops open and pursue commercial and economic activities throughout working hours, receiving shoppers and customers,” the federation said in the circular to shops and commercial establishments.
The shops and commercial establishments have been instructed to make the necessary arrangements and take appropriate actions to organize the work and provide services on a rotation basis among workers in a way that does not impede workers, shoppers, and customers in performing prayers.
Saudi Arabia has recently been loosening social restrictions by scaling back the role of religious police, permitting public concerts, lifting a ban on cinema and allowing women to drive.
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