Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia: New rules, penalties for restaurants and cafes

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Saudi Arabia has introduced new rules to curb a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, including the suspension of all indoor dining at restaurants and cafes for 10 days, according to the interior ministry.

The new rules that come into effect on Thursday at 10 pm local time include a suspension on all recreational and entertainment activities for 10 days as well.

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Here are the rules and penalties as laid out by the Ministry of Interior regarding restaurants and cafes:

- Suspending the provision of indoor dining services in restaurants, cafes, and the like.

- No gatherings will be allowed outside restaurants for takeout orders.

- The Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing will close establishments that violate the gatherings rule for 24 hours on the first offense.

- If the violation is repeated the first time, a penalty of closure will be implemented for 48 hours and for a period of one week if it is repeated a second time. The third violation will result in two weeks of closure and a penalty of one-month closure if repeated on the fourth time and beyond.

Saudi Arabia will also close all cinemas, indoor entertainment centers, independent indoor games venues or those located in restaurants or shopping centers, etc, gyms and sports centers for a period of 10 days as part of countermeasures against COVID-19, according to an official announcement early on Thursday.

The interior ministry said the period of suspension is subjected to an extension if deemed necessary by authorities.

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