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Coronavirus

Saudi Arabia clarifies COVID-19 mask rules for open public places

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Public spaces in Saudi Arabia including public parks and pedestrian sidewalks don’t require face masks upon entry, as opposed to sports stadiums and large events hosting 500 people or more where masks as required, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior clarified that open spaces are those that are uncovered and borderless, such as public parks, SPA reported Wednesday.

People are not required to wear face masks in open public places, but sports stadiums and large events designated to host 500 people at the same time or more, regardless of the number of actual attendance, require those in attendance to adhere to COVID-19 rules including wearing masks.

“The announcement is based on what was submitted by the competent health authorities regarding the definitions of public places and their health controls,” SPA said.

The ministry also called on all citizens and residents, who have received two-dose COVID-19 vaccines at least six months ago, to obtain the third shot, or booster dose, to “strengthen the community’s immunity.”

All organizers of activities must check, through the Kingdom’s COVID-19 tracking app Tawakkalna, the health status of those who attend events and activities, the interior ministry said.

Pfizer vaccine approved for children

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority on Wednesday approved the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 years, SPA reported.

This came after Pfizer submitted a request for approval by the authority.

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The authority’s decision to approve the vaccine’s use for the targeted age group was based on data provided by the company, which found that the vaccine met the special regulatory requirements, after clinical studies and practical reports evaluated the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine for this age group.

In December 2020, Saudi Arabia approved the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia reaches 70 percent immunity

The Kingdom’s Minister of Health Fahad al-Jalajel on Thursday said that 70 percent of people in Saudi Arabia obtained two COVID-19 vaccine doses.

He stressed the importance of “everyone’s commitment to the [COVID-19] precautionary measures.”

More than 46 million vaccine doses were administered in Saudi Arabia as of Wednesday.

Read more:

Saudi Arabia launches third COVID-19 booster vaccine dose for people 18 and older

Saudi Arabia came out ahead of COVID pandemic, proved its resilience: Al-Falih at FII

Saudi Arabia’s tourism minister calls for a unified travel protocol post-COVID