Saudi Arabia ending nationwide curfew today

An elderly man wearing a protective mask sits in front of a closed shop Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 24 March 2020. According to local media reports Saudi Arabia has registered 51 new cases on 23 March bringing the total to 562 cases, 19 of them have recovered. Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has announced a nation-wide curfew from dawn to dusk starting from 24 March for the duration of 21 days. EPA-EFE/ALI AHMAD

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Saudi Arabia will end a nationwide curfew and lift restrictions on businesses from today after three months of lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, state news agency SPA quoted a source in the interior ministry as saying on Saturday.

The curfew has been be lifted as of 6 AM local time on Sunday. Restrictions will remain, however, for religious pilgrimages, international travel and social gatherings of more than 50 people.

The kingdom introduced stringent measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in March, including 24-hour curfews on most towns and cities.

In May, it announced a three-phase plan to ease restrictions on movement and travel, culminating in the curfew completely ending on June 21.

The number of coronavirus infections has risen in recent weeks following a relaxation of movement and travel restrictions on May 28.

The kingdom has recorded 154,223 cases of COVID-19 and a total of 1,230 deaths, the highest in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

Saudi Arabia plans to limit numbers at the annual haj pilgrimage to prevent a further outbreak of coronavirus cases, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this month.

via Reuters

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