Saudi Arabia to ease Covid-19 restrictions from Sunday

New daily cases dropped to double digits this week

Saudi Arabia will loosen coronavirus restrictions from Sunday. AFP
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Saudi Arabia will ease coronavirus restrictions from October 17, the Ministry of Interior announced on Friday.

Social distancing measures will be cancelled and public places like restaurants, cinemas and transport will be allowed to operate at full capacity for double-vaccinated people. Weddings will also be allowed to take place with no restrictions on the number of guests, the ministry said, in a statement shared by the Saudi Press Agency.

The government will lift social distancing measures and allow full-capacity attendance at the country's two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah for those who have received two vaccine doses. Attendees and workers will be required to wear masks in the corridors of the mosques and use the Covid tracker app, Tawakkalna, to check when they may attend.

Fully-vaccinated Saudis and residents will also no longer be required to wear masks in open places. But authorities said the rules were subject to change if cases rise again.

Saudi Arabia has administered at least 44,374,451 Covid-19 vaccine doses. The kingdom has approved Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines for use.

Coronavirus cases have been dropping rapidly since a second wave hit in July. On Thursday, only 36 new cases were registered.

More than 540,000 cases have been registered since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, and 8,758 deaths.

Updated: October 15, 2021, 2:16 PM