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Coronavirus

Saudi Arabia lifts ban on children under 12 in entertainment events, activities

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Children under the age of 12 in Saudi Arabia are not required to take COVID-19 vaccines and can now attend entertainment events and activities in open spaces, the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) said.

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To be allowed into outdoor recreational events, children must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult, should not have flu-like symptoms (including a fever, cough, runny nose), and their health status on the Tawakkalna application must be “not infected” and display the has “not come into contact with an infected person” sign, the GEA said on Tuesday.

Social distancing measures must be enforced at all times, the GEA added.

The capacity at such events must not exceed 40 percent in order to prevent infection since the children would not have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to the GEA.

Children under 12 will still be prohibited from entering events and activities held in closed spaces, and entry will be limited to vaccinated people only, according to the GEA.

A Saudi man and his wife enter Granada Mall, after displaying the Tawakolna app, launched by the Saudi authorities to help track people infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 3, 2021. (Reuters)
A Saudi man and his wife enter Granada Mall, after displaying the Tawakolna app, launched by the Saudi authorities to help track people infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 3, 2021. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia has tried to encourage its population to get inoculated against the COVID-19 disease by limiting entry to public places to vaccinated individuals only.

Students aged 12 years and above, as well as school staff members, will not be allowed to enter government or private schools unless they have been fully vaccinated.

The new school term is set to begin on August 29, and health authorities want to ensure that all students and staff members who can get vaccinated are protected against the coronavirus.

“The Ministry of Health will provide vaccines, make appointments available for students targeted for the immunization process, in addition to teachers, faculty members and administrators from the education staff, and provide all possibilities necessary to complete the vaccination operations before the beginning of the academic year,” the health ministry said in a statement last week.

More than 30 million COVID-19 doses have already been administered across the Kingdom in over 587 inoculation centers as of Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia has plans to reach herd immunity and vaccinate at least 70 percent of its population against COVID-19 by October this year.

So far, 30 percent of the population have been fully vaccinated and 58 percent have received at least one dose, which indicates that the Kingdom would reach its goal in time if it continues to do so at the current rate.

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