Covid-19: Bahrain restricts access to malls, public venues for unvaccinated

Filed on May 20, 2021
A Saudi national shows his vaccination certificate on his smartphone at Bahraini Immigration check-post as he enters Bahrain, after Saudi authorities lift the travel ban on its citizens after fourteen months, at King Fahad Causeway, Bahrain. — Reuters

Only people who have completed 14 days since their second vaccine dose or who have recovered from the virus will be allowed at commercial centres

Bahrain said on Thursday it would restrict access to most public venues to immunised people only, after coronavirus cases hit a record high.

Health Ministry Undersecretary Waleed Al Manea attributed the spike to large gatherings at home during Ramadan and Eid holidays as well as increased testing.

As of May 21, only people aged above 18 who have completed 14 days since their second vaccine dose or who have recovered from the virus will be allowed at commercial centres, with the exception of supermarkets, banks, pharmacies and hospitals.

The restrictions, which apply to shopping malls, restaurants, salons and cinemas as well as offices providing government services, will last until June 3.

The island nation of 1.7 million people on Wednesday registered 2,354 new Covid-19 infections and eight deaths to bring its total to 206,878 cases with 773 deaths. On May 15, authorities had recorded around 1,300 infections.

“We urge society to get vaccinated and to comply with precautionary measures for the sake of Bahrain,” Manea said in remarks posted on the ministry’s Twitter account.

Around 48 per cent of the eligible population has completed 14 days since their second vaccine shot, said a member of the state coronavirus committee, Dr Manaf Al Qahtani, adding this was equivalent to around 37 per cent of the total population.

Qahtani said only between 1 per cent to 2 per cent of this category caught the virus but that the majority had mild symptoms.

Of the eligible population, 75 per cent have received a first dose from among the four vaccines on offer.

Bahrain and the UAE this week said they would offer a booster shot for China’s Sinopharm vaccine.

Saudi Arabia reopened its borders on May 17, including a highway linking the kingdom with Bahrain.

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