From Monday, citizens in the kingdom must stay indoors from 7pm to 6am
Saudi Arabia has launched a 21-day curfew as the number of coronavirus cases in the kingdom surged on Sunday by 119 to take the total number of infections to 511.
The curfew, from 7pm to 6am, will be implemented from Monday by royal order.
A statement from the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said: “The royal order to the concerned authorities included urging citizens to stay in their homes during the coming period, especially the period of curfew, and not to leave except in cases of extreme necessity in the period in which the prohibition does not apply, as preserving public health has become one of the most important duties for the people of this country and those residing on its land, and they must fulfil their duty by staying in their homes, and not to expose themselves and their country to the risk of the spread of this pandemic.”
Groups and individuals exempt from the curfew include:
- The food sector (points of sale), such as catering, supermarkets, vegetable, poultry, and meat shops, bakeries, and food factories.
- The health sector, such as pharmacies and relevant sectors like medical clinics, hospitals, laboratories, factories of medical devices and materials.
- The media sector in its various means.
- The transportation sector, such as transporting goods, parcels, customs clearance, warehouses, logistics services, and supply chains of health and food sectors, and port operation.
- E-commerce activities, such as those working in electronic purchases applications and delivery applications for the excluded activities.
- Accommodation services, such as hotels and furnished apartments.
- The energy sector, such as fuel stations and emergency services of the Saudi Electricity Company.
- The financial services and insurance sector, such as managing accidents (Najm), urgent health insurance services (approvals), and other insurance services.
- The telecom sector, such as the internet and communication network operators.
- The water sector, such as the water company emergency services and home drinking water delivery service.
- Allowing movement during the time of the curfew for security, military and health cars, government regulatory services vehicles, as well as vehicles of activities excluded in item (First).
- Allowing delivery of food, medicinal needs, and other essential goods and services through using smart device applications (express delivery services) during the time of curfew.
- Allow the Muezzins to reach the mosques to recite the call to prayer during the time of curfew.
- Allow the workers in diplomatic missions and international organisations and residents of the diplomatic quarter to move during the time of curfew from and to their workplaces.
In a separate announcement, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has instructed all local banks to postpone payments for all public and private health workers who have credit facilities for three months starting from April “in recognition of their enormous efforts to safeguard the health of the citizens and residents”.
Meanwhile, a Saudi citizen in Riyadh has been arrested after posting a video on social media ridiculing the efforts of the health and security personnel, according to media spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Shaker bin Suleiman Al-Tuwaijri. He added that legal action will be taken against the individual.