Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman orders lockdown in Riyadh, Mecca, Medina

King Salman during a Saudi Cabinet meeting on December 24 2019. (SPA)

Residents in Saudi Arabia are banned from entering or exiting Riyadh, Mecca and Medina as of Thursday, according to new coronavirus prevention measures approved by King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

King Salman also approved a measure that bans residents in the Kingdom’s 13 regions from traveling between different areas.

In a larger effort to contain the spread of the deadly virus, the recently imposed curfew will begin at 3 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. in the three cities of Riyadh, Mecca and Medina as of Thursday, according to a statement by the Ministry of Interior.

Coronavirus: Checklist to prepare for isolation and lockdown

The ministry said curfew exemptions still apply to those in vital public and private sectors such as security, military and media. Those who work in health services are also excluded from the curfew.

The Kingdom has so far confirmed two coronavirus-related deaths, one on Tuesday and one Wednesday. The total number of infections is now 900, according to the health ministry.

Watch: Saudi Arabia's biggest cities empty after coronavirus curfew


Facts about what is banned and closed in the Kingdom

Malls and parks were shut down earlier this month in an effort to slow the spread of the deadly virus. Meanwhile, restaurants and cafes were banned from serving food and beverages on their premises. Workplace attendance was also suspended at most government agencies for a period of 16 days, except for health, security, and military sectors.

Read more about what is banned and closed in Saudi Arabia here.

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Last Update: Thursday, 26 March 2020 KSA 07:56 - GMT 04:56
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