A policeman wearing a protective face mask blocks the road during a curfew imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia April 2, 2020. Picture taken April 2, 2020. (Reuters)

Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia revises curfew timings for month of Ramadan

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Saudi Arabia has revised its coronavirus curfew timings for the month of Ramadan allowing residents to go out for necessary needs between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday, citing a Ministry of Interior source.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

Residents in all areas and cities not currently under a 24-hour lockdown will be allowed to go out between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the Muslim holy month, according to SPA.

However, areas under a complete lockdown will only be allowed to go out for essential needs, such as grocery shopping or medical visits, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Residents in these areas must stay within their neighborhoods, SPA reported. Only two people are permitted to be in one vehicle at a time.

Residents of neighborhoods which have been quarantined are still prevented from leaving their homes at any time, according to SPA.

A 24-hour lockdown was previously imposed on the cities of Riyadh, Tabuk, Dammam, Dhahran, and Hofuf and throughout the governorates of Jeddah, Taif, Qatif, and Khobar.

The government had imposed a full lockdown on the holy cities of Mecca and Medina as well. Other cities and governorates had a curfew implemented from 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily.

Read more: Saudi Arabia coronavirus curfew: Ten questions answered

These measures are part of the Kingdom’s efforts in trying to slow the spread of the deadly virus. The Ministry of Interior and health authorities have been reevaluating preventative measures and adjusting when necessary.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia announced it will be suspending all prayers to the public inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina during the holy month of Ramadan as precautionary measures against the coronavirus pandemic. All communal prayers inside mosques were banned last month in the Kingdom.

Read more: Saudi Arabia records 1,147 new cases, a steady increase after spike

Saudi Arabia has so far recorded 11,631 infection cases and the death toll reached 109 on Tuesday. The health ministry said 1,640 have recovered.

Saudi Arabia’s Health Minister Dr. Tawfig al-Rabiah warned that the number of cases in the Kingdom could reach up to 200,000 within weeks, based on four different studies conducted by Saudi and foreign experts, if preventative measures are not followed. His lower estimate was 10,000.

Read more:

Middle East braces for bleak Ramadan as coronavirus threat lingers

Saudi Arabia suspending prayers inside Two Holy Mosques during Ramadan

Saudi scholar council urges Muslims in Ramadan lockdown to pray at home

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