Saudi Arabia enforces 24-hour curfew in Makkah and Madinah

April 02, 2020

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia enforced a 24-hour daily curfew in Makkah and Madinah, effective immediately on Thursday, until further notice, Saudi Press Agency reported quoting an official source at the Ministry of Interior.

Residents in both cities may leave their homes only for necessary reasons such as buying food and for medical care only between the hours of 6 a.m. till 3 p.m. Residents going out must remain within their residential area.

Residents are banned from entering or exiting the cities. The official said curfew exemptions still apply to those in vital public and private sectors such as security, military and media. Those who work in health services are also excluded from the curfew.

The source stated that the new measures were taken within the Kingdom’s efforts to confront coronavirus pandemic, and in implementation of the recommendations of competent health authorities to upgrade the degree of precautionary and preventive measures in Makkah and Madinah to protect the health and safety of citizens and expatriates.

Details of the new measures related to 24-hour curfew in the holy cities are as follows:

1- The curfew will be effective in all parts of the cities of Makkah and Madinah for a period of 24 hours daily, with continuing ban of entry into and exit from the two cities, as of today until further notice. The ban of entry and exit does not include those excepted from employees of vital sectors in government and private sectors, whose works require continued performance during the ban period according to the Royal Order issued on Thursday, April 2.

2- Residents of Makkah and Madinah are allowed to leave their homes to meet only necessary needs such as health care and food supplies within neighborhoods in which they reside during the period from 6:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. every day.

Also, those who want to use banking services and ATMs are allowed according to a mechanism set up by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) in coordination with the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Interior called upon everyone that the exit is for adults only and that is in necessary cases so as to ensure that children are not exposed to the causes of transmission.

3- Prohibiting the practice of any commercial activities within the residential neighborhoods of Makkah and Madinah, except for pharmacies and food supply stores, gas stations and banking services.

4- Restricting vehicle transportation within the residential neighborhoods of Makkah and Madinah for the people to meet their necessary needs and that is only to one person, in addition to the driver of the vehicle so as to bring down contact with others to the minimum.

The Ministry of Interior called on all citizens and expatriates to use express delivery services through smart phone Apps to order for home delivery of food and medical supplies.

The ministry assured the people that these measures were taken within the framework of the Kingdom’s efforts to safeguard public health and prevent the spread of coronavirus, and that they are subject to continuous evaluation with relevant health authorities.

It also called on everyone to be fully aware of their individual responsibilities in following instructions and adhering to quarantine measures to serve the public interest.

Last Thursday, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman had approved measures that placed Riyadh, Makkah and Madinah in a lockdown.

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