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Covid-19: Saudi Arabia closes down malls, sports centres; suspends events, weddings

Web report/Riyadh
Filed on February 4, 2021
Photo (for illustrative purposes only): Reuters

The measures were put in place in light of emerging indicators of "an increase in the epidemic curve" in some regions.

Saudi Arabia has enforced further measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus, announcing the closure of cinemas, restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, gyms and sports centres for 10 days, subject to extension.

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The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited an official source at the Ministry of Interior who said that the measures were put in place in light of emerging indicators of "an increase in the epidemic curve" in some regions of Saudi Arabia caused by lax implementation of precautionary measures.

The country has also suspended all events and parties, including weddings, corporate meetings and gatherings for a period of 30 days, subject to extension.

The Ministry of Interior said the decision follows a second outbreak of Covid-19 in some countries, and as an effort to preserve public health and prevent the outbreak of a second wave of the epidemic in the Kingdom, which may further strain the country's health facilities.

(Full list of restrictions available here.)

Earlier this week, the country had said it would suspend entry to the kingdom from 20 countries, with the exception of Saudi citizens, diplomats, and medical practitioners and their families.

In a similar move, Kuwait too said on Wednesday that it would suspend entry for non-citizens for two weeks as of February 7, following a rise in coronavirus cases in the Gulf state.





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