Saudi Arabia bans shisha and tobacco to combat COVID-19

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Shisha smoking is a common practice in the Middle East region. — Courtesy photo
Shisha smoking is a common practice in the Middle East region. — Courtesy photo

By Muhammed Nafie

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia has banned cafes and restaurants in the Kingdom from serving shisha and tobacco as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs said. “Shisha and tobacco were banned in cafes and restaurants in all the municipalities as a precautionary measure to preserve the health of citizens and residents from coronavirus (COVID-19)”, the ministry tweeted on Monday.

The ban has been implemented by local authorities in several Saudi cities, including the capital Riyadh. Inspections will be taking place by municipality teams to ensure that the restrictions are being followed, the Saudi news agency Ajel said on Monday.

Teams from municipalities will make field inspections to ensure the strict compliance with the ban. Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah who hailed the ban said, “Tobacco and the shisha can cause infection transmission as they are shared.” — Al Arabiya English


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