Saudi Arabia’s measures to combat coronavirus since February: A timeline

A Saudi man, wearing a protective mask as a precaution against coronavirus, walks with his wife in the capital Riyadh on March 15, 2020. (AFP)

Saudi Arabia launched on Saturday a report detailing the measures it took to combat the spread of the coronavirus in the Kingdom.

The report includes a timeline of the most prominent COVID-19-related decisions from February 26 until April 26.

Visit our dedicated coronavirus site here for all the latest updates.

February 26:

Suspension of attendance at the workplace in all government agencies and private sector extended until further notice.

Suspension of international and domestic flights, bus and taxi and train activity extended until further notice.

Curfew in Jeddah imposed from 3 p.m.

March 4:

Temporary suspension of Umrah pilgrimage for citizens and residents.

March 6:

Suspension of public attendance of sports events.

March 8:

Suspension of all schools and universities and the implementation of e-learning programs.

March 12:

Postponement of Saudi-African Summit and Arab-African Summit.

Suspension of all public events at hotels, resorts and wedding halls.

March 14:

Suspension of all international flights for two weeks.

Suspension of all sports activities and closure of all private gyms and health clubs.

Allocating 50 billion riyals ($13.3 billion) to help the Kingdom’s banking sector, financial institutions and SMEs.

Closure of all amusement centers in shopping malls and implementation of sterilization programs for stocks of food and beverages.

March 15:

Suspension of cruise ship voyages with a number of countries, with the exemption of cargo ships.

Postponement of judicial hearings except for urgent cases.

March 16:

Suspension of workplace attendance for all government employees.

Closure of all shopping malls.

Banning the serving of food in restaurants and cafes and limiting it to delivery services.

Banning all public space gatherings.

Urging companies to quarantine expat workers for 14 days following their return to Saudi Arabia from vacation.

March 17:

Suspension of congregational (Jama’ah) and weekly Friday prayers.

March 20:

Suspension of domestic flights, trains, buses and taxis for two weeks.

March 23:

Royal decree imposing curfew for 21 days between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.

March 25:

Restriction on movement between provinces.

Extension of daily curfew in Mecca and Medina to start from 3 p.m.

March 26:

A virtual summit for G20 leaders was held and chaired by King Salman bin Abdulaziz to coordinate global efforts against coronavirus.

March 28:

Imposing 24/7 curfew on some neighborhoods in Medina.

Suspension of attendance at the workplace in all government agencies and private sector extended until further notice.

Suspension of international and domestic flights, bus and taxi and train activity extended until further notice.

March 30:

King Salman orders coronavirus treatment be made available free of charge for anyone in need, including citizens, residents and those who overstayed their visa in the Kingdom.

Imposing 24/7 curfew on some neighborhoods in Mecca.

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April 1:

Enabling some residents and visitors to return to their home countries.

April 2:

Curfew in Mecca and Medina extended to 24 hours, until further notice.

April 3:

King Salman orders the government to pay 60 percent of Saudi employees’ salaries in all private sector companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

King Salman orders the renewal of residency permits for all expats for a period of three months, free of charge.

Public Security launches inter-regional movement permits system.

Curfew brought forward to 3 p.m. in Dammam, Taif and al-Qatif.

April 4:

Lockdown and 24-hour curfew imposed in several Jeddah neighborhoods and restriction on all movement.

April 5:

King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman order the launch of an electronic service to facilitate the return of citizens abroad.

Finalizing procedures for Umrah pilgrims whose visas expired and who have overstayed at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

April 6:

Round-the-clock lockdowns imposes in the cities of Riyadh, Tabuk, Dammam, Dhahran and Hofuf. The same was implemented in the governorates of Jeddah, Taif, Qatif and Khobar.

April 7:

Suspension of judicial rulings related to the imprisonment of debtors in cases of private right, and suspension of orders related to enabling children to visit one of their separated parents.

April 10:

First flight repatriating Saudi citizens arrives.

24-hour curfew imposed on six neighborhoods in Medina.

April 11:

King Salman orders a nationwide curfew extension until further notice.

April 12:

Movement permit forms are updated for curfew-exempted entities.

April 15:

King Salman approves additional package of measures to support the private sector.

Al-Atheer district in Dammam is isolated and all entry and exit is banned until further notice.

April 16:

All students promoted to the next grade with remote teaching proceeding normally.

National ID cards’ validity is extended throughout the lockdown period.

Saudi Arabia pledged $500 million to support international efforts to combat coronavirus.

April 17:

24-hour curfew imposed on al-Dayer and Samta governorates until further notice.

April 18:

Curfew imposed on al-Ahsa governorates Faisaliah and Fadlya districts, with a ban on entry and exit for both areas, until further notice.

Unified traffic form adopted and implemented throughout the Kingdom.

April 19:

Saudi Arabia chairs Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) extraordinary meeting to discuss the impact of coronavirus.

Criminal cases initiated against individuals who exploited state funding aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus.

April 20:

Employers and enterprises are invited to provide accommodation details for their foreign workers.

READ: Coronavirus: Saudi citizens returning from abroad must use ‘Tatamman’ e-bracelet

April 21:

Curfew amended for the Holy month of Ramadan in cities where there’s no 24-hour curfew.

Service launched to issue movement permits for sectors excluded from curfew instructions.

April 22:

King Salman approves the performance of Taraweeh prayers in the Two Holy Mosques, reduced to five Tasleemat and attendance limited to employees with the continued suspension of the attendance of worshippers.

“Awdah” initiative launched to enable expats holding valid visas to travel back to their countries.

Three initiatives launched to mitigate the economic and financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the private sector in the Kingdom.

April 23:

Restaurant timings set from 3 p.m. till 3 a.m. during Ramadan.

Removal of protective barricades surrounding the Holy Kaaba.

“Iftar Ramadan” initiative launched to provide iftar meals for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

April 25:

King Salman orders curfew to be partially lifted in all regions of the Kingdom, except Mecca and other isolated districts.

April 26:
Saudi Arabia signs 995 million riyals ($265 million) deal with China to expand the Kingdom’s coronavirus testing capacity.

Read more:

Coronavirus: Saudi economy can deal with budget deficit, revenue decline, says Min.

Coronavirus: Saudi residents face deportation for gathering in weddings, funerals

Saudi Arabia’s residents may be deported if they violate coronavirus rules in shops

Saudi Arabia launches third phase of expanded testing to evaluate coronavirus spread

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Last Update: 05:30 KSA 08:30 - GMT 05:30
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