Manama: Saudi Arabia stressed that the three-month ban on outdoor work in the afternoon started yesterday.

“There is a ban on making people work outdoors between noon and 3pm from June 15 until September 15,” the Ministry of Labour and Social Development posted on its Twitter account.

The ministry urged people to report violations on a hotline dedicated to monitoring the situation. It added that all calls would be treated “with great discretion.”

Workers were cautioned against working under the scorching heat and warned not to expose themselves to possible sunstrokes.

Saudi Arabia, like other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, relies heavily on foreign labour, often imported from Asia, in the construction sector.

Wary of the soaring temperatures in summer, the labour ministries have introduced a strict ban on outdoor work in the early afternoon and imposed heavy penalties against employers who insist on violating the rule.

The rule does not apply to workers in the oil and gas sector or on emergency duty. However, their employers have to ensure that they are well protected from the high risks of exposure to the scorching sun.

According to the General Authority for Statistics, more than 12 million of the 32 million people who live in Saudi Arabia are foreigners.