Saudi Arabia lifts restrictions on wearing masks, health status verification as Hajj Pilgrims arrives

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The Ministry of Interior announced on Monday the lifting of most of the coronavirus related restrictions with regard to wearing of masks and showing health status on Tawakkalna application, the Saudi Press Agency reported.


According to the ministry order, wearing of masks in closed places is not required in most cases.


Wearing of masks is required only for the entry to the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, and those places for which

protocols are issued by the Public Health Authority (Weqaya).


It is also required for the facilities, activities, events and means of public transport that wish to continue applying higher levels of protection with wearing of a mask for the entry. The ministry stressed the need to continue raising awareness about wearing masks.


The ministry stated that immunization and health verification are not required on the Tawakkalna application to enter facilities, activities, and events as well as for boarding planes and public transport vehicles except for those whose nature requires immunization or continue verifying health status according to the general health requirements set by Weqaya.

Tawakkalna health status verification can also be made for the entry to facilities, activities, occasions, events and means of public transport that wish to implement higher levels of protection by continuing the immunization requirement.


The ministry also extended the duration of the requirement to take the third dose (booster dose) of the COVID-19 vaccine for the citizens who travel out of the Kingdom to eight months instead of three months after receiving the second dose. However, there will be exemption for the age groups specified by the Ministry of Health, the ministry added.



According to an earlier statement of the Ministry of Health on its Twitter account, those who have completed eight months after taking the first

booster dose can register for the second dose. The ministry said that an appointment for the second booster dose could be had through its Sehhaty application.


Last month, the Ministry of Health announced that the booster dose against coronavirus and its variants is available for all those aged 16 and above. The booster dose has been made available earlier for the elderly and those with chronic diseases.


An official source at the Ministry of Interior said on Monday that the new decisions on lifting most of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions were taken on the basis of the follow-up to the epidemiological situation of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the reports of the competent health authorities, and the remarkable gains achieved in combating the pandemic, in addition to the unlimited support being extended by the wise leadership. The source also highlighted the concerted and effective national efforts from all sides and the subsequent progress achieved in the national vaccination program and the high rates of immunization and immunity against the virus in the Saudi society.


The source stressed the importance of completing the implementation of the national plan for immunization, which includes taking the approved booster doses of the vaccine. “The measures taken above are subject to continuous evaluation by the competent health authorities in the Kingdom, according to the developments in the epidemiological situation,” the source added in the statement.



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