Coronavirus ban on family gatherings, weddings, funerals remains, says Saudi official

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Family gathering of more than five people are banned in Saudi Arabia as part of the government’s precautions to contain the spread of the coronavirus, security spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, Talal al-Shalhoub, said on Saturday.

He added that gatherings of more than five individuals in general were banned, including: family gatherings inside homes, or rest stops or farms, and any non-familial gatherings inside homes, or rest stops, or farms or camps or chalets or open areas for residents of a neighborhood.

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Al-Shalhoub reiterated that all gatherings for occasions such as weddings, funerals, parties, and such were also banned.

Any gathering of workers outside of their residence in homes, or buildings under construction, or rest stops or farms is also banned.

Shoppers and staff members are also not allowed to gather in malls or shops beyond the specified capacity limit which ensures two-meter separation between people (social distancing).

Any person who attends a gathering or calls for it or causes it will be considered a violator of the government’s measures and will face fines and penalties.

Al-Shalhoub added that non-curfew hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) were supposed to be used to carry out essential needs and not for socializing and visits.

He said that the authorities detected 3,334 violations of the curfew on Friday.

There are 51,980 confirmed coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia, 23,666 recovered COVID-19 patients and 302 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

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