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Saudi Arabia: 24-hour curfew in Makkah and Medina until further notice

April 3, 2020 at 2:00 am

An aerial view shows an empty white-tiled area surrounding the Kaaba in Makkah’s Grand Mosque, on 6 March 2020. [BANDAR ALDANDANI/AFP via Getty Images]

The Saudi Ministry of Interior announced a strict 24-hour curfew in the cities of Makkah and Medina, starting from Thursday until further notice.

On Thursday, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted an official source in the Ministry of Interior stating that this comes as part of the kingdom’s efforts to confront the coronavirus pandemic, and in implementation of the recommendations of the health authorities concerned with raising the degree of precautionary and preventive measures in the cities of Makkah and Medina, to protect the health and safety of residents.

The source pointed to the continued prevention of entry to, or exit from, these cities, starting from the date of the announcement until further notice, noting that the entry and exit ban does not include the exempted categories of those working in vital public and private sectors, whose work requires continuation during the prevention period.

The source indicated that it is allowed for residents of the neighbourhoods of the cities of Makkah and Medina to leave their homes only to fulfil essential needs, such as healthcare and the purchase of provisions, within the scope of the residential neighbourhood in which they reside, from 6am to 3pm daily.

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The source explained that those wishing to use banking services can do so according to a mechanism set by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, in coordination with the Ministries of Interior and Health.

The Ministry of Interior instructed that only adults can go out and only in necessary cases, to ensure that children are not exposed to the virus.

The source further stated that it has been decided to prohibit the practice of any commercial activities within the residential neighbourhoods of the two cities, with the exception of pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations and banking services.

The Ministry of Interior called on all citizens and residents to use express delivery services through smart device applications, to order food and medical needs, as well as other goods and services, and to have them delivered to their homes.