Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia private sector employees to return to offices

A Saudi volunteer supervisor wearing a protective face mask and gloves checks the temperature of another volunteer in food distribution. (File photo: Reuters)

Private sector employees in Saudi Arabia can go back offices with minimal staff and strict following of coronavirus precautionary measures, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development announced on Wednesday.

“The private sector can start working while following the precautionary and preventive measures announced by the ministry of health and supervising authorities,” the ministry said.

The move is the latest of the Kingdom's announcements to ease the coronavirus restrictions, which saw the Kingdom under full lockdown at times, including during the Islamic celebration of Eid al-Fitr.

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“[Companies] must prepare their offices as per the instructions issued on the matter to secure the return of employees to a safe work environment,” the ministry added.

Saudi Arabia reported on Tuesday 1,815 new coronavirus cases and 14 deaths, bringing the total number of infections in the Kingdom to 78,541 and the death toll to 425, according to the Saudi Health Ministry.

Read more: Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia allows outdoor exercise, internal travel as lockdown eases

Public sector

Saudi Arabia had announced a day earlier that Public sector employees will gradually return to their workplaces starting May 31 and fully by June 14.

“After two months of closures, it is time to return to business and open activities, as it is an essential element in driving the economic wheel,” said the Saudi Arabian Minister of Human Resource and Social Development Ahmed bin Sulaiman al-Rajhi in a televised address on Tuesday.

Easing restrictions

Saudi Arabia had announced on Tuesday that it will ease the coronavirus restrictions and resume some economic and commercial activities to return to “normalcy”.

The Kingdom set a strategy, compiled of three gradual opening-up phases, which will be set in motion on May 28 and will be based on two pillars: Health care system's capacity of accommodating critical cases and the policy of expanding testing and early detection.

The final phase of the strategy, which begins on June 21, sees Saudi Arabia fully returning to “normalcy” in all areas of the Kingdom, except Mecca, and restore conditions to how life was before implementing curfews.

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Last Update: Thursday, 28 May 2020 KSA 08:08 - GMT 05:08
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