Coronavirus: Areas where Saudi Arabia eased lockdowns, precautionary measures

A policeman wearing a protective face mask blocks the road during a curfew imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, April 2, 2020. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia started, towards the end of April and the beginning of Ramadan, easing coronavirus-related lockdowns and precautionary measures such as curfews as per the recommendation of health authorities in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia lifted on Wednesday the coronavirus lockdowns imposed on al-Faisaliah and al-Fadhliya neighborhoods in al-Ahsa province, the Ministry of Interior said.

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Residents of the two neighborhoods are now allowed to move around to carry out essential tasks from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m.

The Kingdom also lifted on Saturday the lockdown on al-Atheer district in Dammam, which was imposed on April 15, and said it will allow residents to move around for essential needs from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m.

On April 29, the capital Riyadh started allowing malls to re-open to the public, given that they implement 13 coronavirus precautionary requirements, including thermal screening at all entrances and a ban on the entry of children under the age of 15.

The Saudi government had also revised its coronavirus curfew timings for the holy month of Ramadan, allowing residents to go out for essentials needs between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz, ordered the government to lift the curfew partially in all regions of the Kingdom from April 26 until May 13, allowing the public to move around between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

However, he ordered the authorities to maintain the 24-hour curfew in Mecca and the previously isolated districts.

He also ordered the authorities to allow the resumption of some economic and commercial activities during the aforementioned period from April 29 until May 13. Such activities included: Wholesale and retail stores, shopping centers and malls.

Centers which do allow for social distancing as per the nature of the services offered in them, such as beauty salons, barber shops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers, cinemas, restaurants, and cafes were to remain closed.

The King also allowed construction companies and factories to operate without a time restriction, from April 29 until May 13.

Prior to the King’s order, a 24-hour lockdown was imposed on the cities of Riyadh, Tabuk, Dammam, Dhahran, and Hofuf and throughout the governorates of Jeddah, Taif, Qatif, and Khobar.

The government had also imposed a full lockdown on the holy cities of Mecca and Medina as well. Other cities and governorates had a curfew implemented from 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily.

‘Danger hasn’t passed’

However, despite the easing of coronavirus measures in the Kingdom, Minister of Health Tawfiq bin Fawzan al-Rabiah said on April 27 that the “danger has not passed.”

He said that the COVID-19 virus remained in all areas of the Kingdom and called on the public to continue following hygienic precautions such as wearing face masks.

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Last Update: 06:54 KSA 09:54 - GMT 06:54
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