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Saudi to ease coronavirus restrictions for Ramadan

April 22, 2020 at 4:01 pm

Saudi capital Riyadh, 26 March 2020 [FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia has announced plans to ease the lockdown during the month of Ramadan. Several cities within the kingdom were placed under severe restrictions following the coronavirus outbreak, but with the Muslim holy month of fasting expected in the next day or two, the news will come as a welcome relief to many residents.

State news agency SPA reported the lifting of restrictions yesterday to allow people more time to shop for essentials within the boundaries of their neighbourhoods.

Those residing in regions and cities in which 24-hour curfews are not implemented will be allowed to leave their homes from 9am to 5pm. Residents in cities under 24-hour curfew will be permitted to leave their homes from 9am and 5pm but only for essential purposes, such as medical care and grocery shopping within their neighbourhood. Also, only two people are permitted to be in one vehicle at a time.

READ: Will your religion intercede for you in the presence of the coronavirus?

Makkah and Medina will see restrictions lifted during Ramadan. Saudi authorities have decided to hold Taraweeh and Tahajjud prayers in the Two Holy Mosques, while continuing to suspend the attendance of worshippers.

Only the officials within the general presidency and cleaners will be allowed to join the congregational prayer which attracts hundreds of thousands of worshippers from across the world during Ramadan.

Some 12,772 coronavirus cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, of which 114 have died according to Worldometer, a website which tracks global figures of the spread of the pandemic.

READ: Mosques in Jordan, Palestine to remain closed during Ramadan