Saudi Arabia: Face masks no longer mandatory at open public places

Due to consequential decline in COVID-19 cases and a considerable development in vaccinations in the Kingdom, the interior ministry of Saudi Arabia has announced that it will ease the COVID-19 restrictions from Sunday. Masks will no longer be mandatory at open public places. The new rules will only apply to those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In addition, the social distancing measure has also been relaxed by the government. According to the Saudi Press agency, public places like wedding halls, restaurants, cinemas and transport will be allowed to operate at their full capacity for fully vaccinated people.

According to the ministry of health (MOH) on Friday, the Kingdom reported 48 confirmed COVID-19 cases, three deaths and 42 recoveries. Earlier this week, the ministry of health stated that Saudi Arabia has administered more than 43.7 million people with the COVID-19 vaccine. 57.2 per cent of the Kingdom’s population are fully vaccinated with two jabs.

The relaxation will now allow people in full capacity to attend the country’s two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah. Relaxing the COVID-19 curb decision was approved by King Salman and announced by the ministry of interior. COVID-19 restrictions are imposed for nearly 19 months following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Countries, where face mask isn’t mandatory, are United Kingdom, Sweden, United States, China, New Zealand, Hungary and Italy.

Israel was the first country in the world to curb the restriction on COVID-19, by going mask free but it reinforced and made it mandatory to wear masks at all places due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

Australians in 2020 had enjoyed life with few COVID-19 restrictions but amid rising cases in July 2021, it was made mandatory to wear a mask everywhere except home.