The re-imposition of coronavirus precautionary measures in Saudi Arabia will depend on the people’s compliance with safety measures, Minister of Health Tawfiq bin Fawzan al-Rabiah said on Friday, a day after the first phase of the plan to ease coronavirus restrictions came into effect.
The government shortened curfew and allowed the resumption of some economic activities, and from May 31 it will allow the resumption of Friday and group prayers in mosques, the return of public and private employees to work from their offices, the resumption of dine-in services in restaurants and cafes, the operation of domestic flights.
Eventually, starting from June 21, Saudi Arabia will return to “normalcy”, except for Mecca, and restore conditions to how life was before implementing coronavirus curfews.
The Minister said on Twitter: “We are in the first stages of the ‘Cautious return,’ therefore we rely on your commitment. Returning to increased precautions depends on God, then on everyone’s compliance. We kindly ask you to follow the precautions.”
The Kingdom put in place COVID-19 precautionary guidelines as the country begins to re-open and business activities resume operations. The safety measures cover procedures in shops, malls, residential and commercial buildings, labor housing, and facilities in the construction and industrial sectors, among others.
The Ministry of Health announced on Friday launching the third phase of increased testing to evaluate the spread of the coronavirus. The ramped-up screening started in Mecca and Medina as a first step, Riyadh will follow in the coming week, then the rest of the Kingdom’s regions.
The ministry stressed that the increased testing will not include screening inside home or require the authorities to visit residences, it will be carried out through several outlets, including: testing people in their cars in drive-thrus in several cities.
In addition, COVID-19 tests will continue to be conducted in primary healthcare facilities, and residents and citizens will be allowed to book appointments to collect their own test samples through the health app “Sehaty.”