A Saudi staff works on a smart sterilising robot at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca, during the yearly Hajj pilgrimage amid the COVID-19 pandemic on July 20, 2021. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Only “immunised” shoppers will be allowed into malls and markets in Saudi Arabia as of next Sunday, commerce authorities have said as the kingdom is ramping up efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The Commerce Ministry said that as of August 1, access to shopping centres and markets will be restricted to people who have received two doses of the vaccines against COVID-19 or at least one dose, and those who have recovered from the disease according to the health status shown on the app “Tawakklana”.

Exempted from the mandatory condition are categories who are not obliged to get inoculated based on their health and age.

Starting from August 1, access to public and private offices, malls, commercial centres, educational institutions, cafes, restaurants and barber shops will be limited to the immunised people, Saudi authorities have recently confirmed in an effort to encourage people to get the jabs against COVID-19.

Immunisation will also be mandatory for attending any cultural, entertainment and sports event in the kingdom.

Last December, Saudi Arabia, a country of 34.8 million people, initiated mass vaccinations against COVID-19.

Over 26 million doses have since been administered in the country, according to the latest figures from the Health Ministry.