Saudi Arabia Enters Final Phase in Return to ‘New Normal’

The return to normal life across the Kingdom is set to begin on Sunday, June 21, after 73 days of a nationwide lockdown imposed on April 8, Arab News reports.

Following the statement issued on May 26, and based on the reports of the authorities regarding measures taken in light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Saudi Ministry of  Interior stated that a royal approval had been issued that stated the nationwide curfew was to be lifted across the Kingdom from Sunday, June 21 at 6 a.m.

All commercial and economic activities are to return in all Saudi cities and regions, though individuals and companies should take into account preventive protocols requiring everyone to commit to social distancing, wear masks to cover the nose and mouth, and which ban gatherings of more than 50 people.

The measures are to be periodically assessed and reviewed by the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH). Umrah pilgrimage and visits to holy sites remain suspended. The decision will be reviewed periodically in light of new developments.

International flights remain suspended, as well as all travel activities through sea and land entry-exit points, until further notice, and penalties will be applied against any individuals or facilities that violate rules issued to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Officials stressed the need for all residents and employers to assume their responsibilities and abide by the precautionary and preventive measures, and to commit to all the instructions issued by the relevant authorities in the Kingdom.

Residents are urged to download the Tawakkalna and Tabaud (Distancing) applications on their smart phones, to stay up to date on all health instructions, directions and developments about the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia recorded 3,941 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, meaning 154,233 people in Saudi Arabia have now contracted the disease. There are currently 54,086 active cases, 1,955 of them critical.

The MOH announced 3,153 new recoveries, taking the total number to 98,917 while 46 new deaths have been reported, raising the death toll to 1,230.

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