Cairo: Municipal authorities in a Saudi governorate had closed an open air market due to shopper crowding in violation of rules set to curtail the spread of COVID-19, an official said.
“The closure came after crowding of shoppers in large numbers was spotted and failure to regulate their movement and non-compliance with the preventive measures,” said Mohammed Al Hawaiti, the head of Municipality in the governorate of Khamis Mushait in south-western Saudi Arabia.
He added that regular inspection campaigns will continue in the governorate to ensure commercial establishments’ conformity to precautionary measures against COVID-19, urging members of the public to report any infringement on the hotline 940.
In recent months, Saudi authorities have stepped up inspection tours of businesses and markets nationwide, resulting in dozens of shutdowns due to violation of COVID-19 rules.
Authorities have repeatedly warned shopping centres and other commercial establishments that they face shutdowns if they fail to heed a limit on their customers as part of anti-virus precautions.
Health rules oblige shopping centres in Saudi Arabia to take the temperatures of their customers and employees as well as making sterilisers, face masks and gloves available, ensuring observance of social distancing, and assigning liaison officers to regulate shoppers.
They also include placing distancing signs on floors in front of stores and intensifying disinfection of frequently touched objects such as door handles, escalators and elevators as well as posting awareness signs about precautions.
Businesses breaching the COVID-19 regulations are liable to a fine of at least SR10,000 that is doubled on repetition along with closure.