Saudi municipality closes Jeddah café after customers caught secretly smoking shisha

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Saudi Arabia’s municipality forced a shisha café in Jeddah to close on Friday after it was caught secretly allowing customers in to have a smoke.

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The health ministry had banned cafes and restaurants from serving shisha in March 2020 after the World Health Organization warned that the product would increase the transmission of the coronavirus in social settings.

“Tobacco and the shisha can cause infection transmission as they are shared,” Minister of Health Tawfik al-Rabiah said.

The Jeddah café had been previously closed, but was allowing customers entry through a side door to prevent being caught by authorities, the mayor of the al-Sharafiya municipality Saad al-Qahtani said.

The municipality said it seized 50 shishas from the café.

Municipalities across Saudi Arabia have been intensifying their inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities to ensure that they are adhering to coronavirus precautionary measures.

Authorities have urged people to do their part in maintaining public health by reporting any COVID-19 violations to the 940 call center number.

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