Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia requires all grocery stores to provide e-payment methods

A Saudi money changer displays Saudi Riyal banknotes at a currency exchange shop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia July 27, 2017. (Reuters)

All grocery stores in Saudi Arabia are required to provide electronic payment methods to customers in order to reduce cash circulation amid the coronavirus outbreak, official Saudi Press Agency reported.

The deadline to abide with the new rule is May 10.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

The decision, under the Ministry of Commerce and Investment’s program to combat commercial cover-ups, is in line with the Kingdom’s precautionary measures to slow and contain the spread of the deadly virus, SPA reported.

Last month, according to an Independent UK report, the World Health Organization (WHO) said “it’s possible” for the virus to spread through banknotes. The report also said WHO advised switching to contactless payments, or for people to wash their hands immediately after handling cash.

Read more: Saudi Arabia suspending prayers inside Two Holy Mosques during Ramadan

Saudi Arabia has implemented several measures to fight the spread of the virus including enforcing partial and total lockdowns throughout the Kingdom, in addition to the suspension of group prayers in all mosques.

The Kingdom has so far recorded 11,631 infection cases and the death toll reached 109 on Tuesday. The health ministry said 1,640 have recovered.

Read more:

Saudi Arabia revises curfew timings for month of Ramadan

Saudi Arabia records 1,147 new cases, a steady increase after spike

Middle East braces for bleak Ramadan as coronavirus threat lingers

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Last Update: Wednesday, 22 April 2020 KSA 11:10 - GMT 08:10
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