S. Arabia halts events, parties for 30 days; recreational activities for 10 days

Riyadh, Feb 04 (INP): The Saudi Ministry of Interior announced, in a statement Thursday suspended all events and parties, including weddings, corporate meetings and the like, in banquet halls and independent wedding halls or affiliated with hotels, as well as in rental rest houses and camps for a period of 30 days, that may be extended, Saudi Gazette reported.

It also announced that the maximum number of gatherings in social events shall not exceed 20 people for a period of 10 days, that might be extended, SPA reported.

In addition, all entertainment activities and events are suspended for a period of 10 days that might be extended.

Moreover, cinemas, indoor entertainment centers, independent indoor games places or in restaurants, shopping malls, gyms and sports centers, were also halted for an extendable period of 10 days.

The ministry also announced suspending the provision of dining services in restaurants, cafes and the like, and limiting it to providing external requests for a period of 10 days, that might be extended.

The Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing will close the establishment that violates this for a period 24 hours, and 48 hours if the violation is repeated for the first time; one week if the violation is repeated for the second time; two weeks if the violation is repeated for the third time; and one month if the violation is repeated for the fourth time and more; without prejudice to the application of any other prescribed penalty for those violations.

The interior ministry also announced intensifying monitoring efforts in implementing protocols and precautions from all authorities, especially the ministries (Interior, Commerce, Human Resources and Social Development, Tourism, Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing), General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA), and the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), and taking the necessary measures to control violations in places that fall under its supervision and imposing penalties on violators.

The Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing will assign field monitoring teams to ensure compliance with the application of preventive and precautionary measures and approved protocols, social distancing, and wearing masks in cemeteries.

Prayers to funerals in cemeteries will be distributed at all times of the day to reduce the number of mourners at one time, in addition to preparing places for funeral prayer to apply social distancing, and to separate burial places, at a time, by a distance of 100 meters – as much as possible – to ensure the separation between the mourners.

The Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing, and supervisory authorities and others, will intensify the control over restaurants and cafes to ensure the implementation of precautionary measures, and to emphasize active use of surveillance cameras, and set up warning panels that indicate that the place is monitored to ensure the extent of compliance with the precautionary measures and health protocols.

The decisions came as part of the measures taken by the Kingdom in the face of spread of the COVID 19 pandemic, and coinciding with the emergence of indicators of an increase in the epidemic curve in some regions of Saudi Arabia, the statement added.