King Salman enforces 21 day curfew in KSA amid COVID-19
Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Interior will reportedly implement the curfew from 23 March
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has reportedly issued a royal order enforcing a curfew in the kingdom to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the royal order has been issued aligned with safeguarding the health and safety of citizens and expatriates in the kingdom.
As part of the order, the Ministry of Interior has been deployed to take the necessary measures to implement the curfew, with all civil and military authorities required to fully cooperate with the ministry.
SPA’s statement 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.
It added: "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 fulfill their duty by staying in their homes, and not to expose themselves and their country to the risk of the spread of this pandemic.”
According to the Ministry of Interior individuals and organisations that are exempted 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.
During the time of the curfew security, militar, and health cars, government regulatory services vehicles, as well as vehicles of activities excluded in item (First).
Delivery of food, medicinal needs, and other essential goods and services through using smart device applications (express delivery services) is allowed during the time of curfew.
Allowing the muezzins to reach the mosques to recite the call to prayer during the time of curfew.
Allowing 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.
On 22 March, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aali, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, said that Saudi Arabia recorded 511 confirmed cases of COVID-19.