Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia tests new ‘Tawakkalna’ app aimed at managing curfew permits

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Authorities in Saudi Arabia announced the trial launch of a new app called “Tawakkalna” aimed at managing the movement of people in the public and private sectors during the nighttime curfew imposed due to coronavirus.

The app, launched by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), will be tested on a select group of employees working in the public and private sectors exempted from the curfew, employees of delivery apps, and individuals with medical appointments to enable them to apply and receive electronic permits.

“Tawakkalna App was developed to facilitate the issuance of movement permits electronically during the curfew period for government and private sector employees, as well as individuals, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and all relevant authorities during the curfew, thus helping to reduce the spread of the pandemic in the Kingdom,” a statement from SDAIA read.

“Tawakkalna helps individuals, security, health, and private entities, that are excluded from the curfew, to automatize all transactions between relevant parties in order to mitigate the health, economic and social impacts that may result from the implementation of policies taken to eliminate the spread of COVID-19,” the statement added.

The app will allocate four hours per week for each individual who is applying to head out during the curfew in order to secure their supplies at any time they want. The statement SDAIA noted that if an individual were to violate the curfew order and leave his home for an emergency after consuming his credit hours, and fined by the security personnel, he or she would have the right to file an appeal through the "Absher" application.

Saudi Arabia partially lifted the curfew restrictions it imposed across the Kingdom starting April 26 while maintaining a full lockdown on Mecca and previously isolated neighborhoods. The announcement made by state television confirmed public movement from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. will be allowed each day until May 13, the twentieth day of Ramadan.

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