Vaccinations to be compulsory to enter Saudi shopping malls

Vaccinations will be compulsory to enter Saudi shopping malls and take public transport
2 min read
15 June, 2021
Shoppers will need a Covid-19 jab before entering Saudi Arabia's malls from 1 August.
The goal of the limitations is to encourage uptake of the jab [AIAOU/Corbis/Getty]

Saudis and expatriates will need to show evidence of having at least one Covid-19 jab before entering shopping malls or using public transport in the kingdom from 1 August, according to local reports.

Commerce ministry spokesperson Abdulrahman Al-Hussein said: "People who received at least the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to enter malls."

The restrictions could go even further, with unvaccinated nationals and residents potentially barred from attending sports or entertainment events, according to UAE-based Gulf News on Sunday.

They could also be barred from entering government and private premises in an apparent push to increase uptake for the Covid-19 jab.

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The restrictions will be in place for 48 days although it is not clear if this would be extended.

The mall-related restrictions will not apply to those who are not immunised due to being medically unable or younger than 18, Arab News reported on Monday, per the ministry.

It is not immediately apparent whether this is true of the other limitations.

Previous measures to prevent indoor gatherings will remain in place, such as bans on celebrities at events and in-person contests.

The government will also still be observing the nation's compliance with Covid-19 rules.

According to Al-Hussain, it has identified 3,436 breaches during 103,274 compliance check-ups.

Last month, Saudi Arabia reduced movement restrictions for the vaccinated, allowing them to travel abroad.