world
Friday Oct 15 2021
By
Reuters

Saudi Arabia to ease coronavirus curbs from Oct 17

By
Reuters
A Saudi man wearing a face mask is seen with his luggage as he arrives at the King Khalid International Airport, after Saudi authorities lift the travel ban on its citizens after fourteen months due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 16, 2021. — Reuters/Ahmed Yosri
A Saudi man wearing a face mask is seen with his luggage as he arrives at the King Khalid International Airport, after Saudi authorities lift the travel ban on its citizens after fourteen months due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 16, 2021. — Reuters/Ahmed Yosri

Saudi Arabia will ease COVID-19 curbs from October 17, the interior ministry said on Friday, in response to a sharp drop in daily infections and a considerable development in vaccinations.

The government will lift social distancing measures and will allow full-capacity attendance at the country's two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina for those who have taken the full dose of vaccines, the ministry added.

The authorities also cancelled curbs on fully vaccinated people at closed venues, gatherings, transportation, restaurants and cinemas.

Masks are no longer mandatory at public open places while still imposed at closed venues, it added.

Back in September, Saudi Arabia’s national airline announced it would allow only those passengers who have received two doses of coronavirus vaccine to travel on its domestic flights.

The implementation of a two-dose vaccine condition was to start on September 1. However, children under the age of 12 years are exempt from this rule.

According to Saudi Arabian media, the authorities have advised travellers to check their status using the Tawakkalna app before booking their tickets.

In August, Saudi Arabia had eased COVID-19 restrictions for fully vaccinated residents, allowing them to directly travel to the Kingdom from countries facing a travel ban, including Pakistan.

According to media reports, this was only applicable for those who have a valid residency permit and left the Kingdom on an exit and re-entry visa after taking two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced the registration of 48 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 42 recoveries in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the past 24 hours, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The number of critical cases reached 112.

According to the ministry, the total number of infections in the country reached 547,845 while the recovery tally reached 536,859.

It also reported three new deaths, bringing fatalities tally in the Kingdom to 8,758.