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Coronavirus

Saudi Arabia bans unvaccinated people from govt facilities, events, public transport

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Saudi Arabia will be banning unvaccinated people from entering government facilities, attending events, and using public transport starting from August 1 as a coronavirus countermeasure, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Interior announced on Sunday.

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Anyone who has not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be prohibited from entering governmental and private facilities, whether they are employed there or are only visiting to complete a service.

All economic, commercial, cultural, recreational, and sports activities will be limited to citizens and residents who received any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines, according to the interior ministry. Currently, the Kingdom has approved the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNtech, and the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

Governmental and private educational facilities must also ban entry for anyone who has not received the vaccine despite being eligible to receive the dose, the ministry added.

A man displays his details on his mobile phone using the Tawakkalna app, which was launched by Saudi authorities to track people infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as he enters the Al-Othaim market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 22, 2021. (Reuters)
A man displays his details on his mobile phone using the Tawakkalna app, which was launched by Saudi authorities to track people infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as he enters the Al-Othaim market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 22, 2021. (Reuters)

Last week, Saudi Arabia announced it would be banning all unvaccinated citizens and residents from entering public establishments, such as malls and restaurants, starting from August 1.

Anyone who has not been inoculated against the coronavirus will not be allowed to enter malls, shopping centers, retail stores, and markets, according to the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs.

Citizens and residents will also need to show proof of vaccine to be allowed entry into restaurants, cafes, men’s barbershops, beauty salons, wedding and party halls.

All citizens will be required to have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine before traveling outside the Kingdom, starting from August 9.

The entry ban for unvaccinated people is in line with the Kingdom’s efforts to ensure that all those living in the country receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

A Saudi man wearing a face mask gets his passport from a Saudi Immigration officer, at the King Khalid International Airport, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 16, 2021. (File photo: Reuters)
A Saudi man wearing a face mask gets his passport from a Saudi Immigration officer, at the King Khalid International Airport, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 16, 2021. (File photo: Reuters)

The interior ministry urged the public to continue to adhere to precautionary measures even if they have been vaccinated.

As of Saturday, more than 24 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered across Saudi Arabia, according to the Ministry of Health.

Over 587 inoculation centers have been set up across the country to ensure all citizens and residents have access to a facility nearby, the ministry said.

People can also receive a vaccine for free at multiple pharmacies around Saudi Arabia.

More than 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to people between the ages of 12 and 18 so far, the ministry added.

According to the health ministry, Saudi Arabia is ranked among the best countries in the world when it comes to vaccinations and coverage rates as more than half of the population in the Kingdom has been inoculated with at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Read more:

Saudi Arabia to ban unvaccinated people from entering public places from Aug 1

Saudi Arabia to require all citizens to be fully vaccinated before traveling by Aug 9

Saudi health ministry says it is safe to combine approved COVID-19 vaccine shots