A municipal worker posts a closure notice on a shopping market in Taif. Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: Eighteen people suffered food poisoning after they were served at a famous restaurant in the Saudi holy city of Mecca, prompting authorities to close it down, local media reported.

Municipal authorities in Mecca shut down the restaurant in line with a related decision from the Ministry of Municipal and Village Affairs that cited a health report blaming the eatery for the incident.

The restaurant has been closed down for one month with a name-to-shame notice posted on its front, saying the shutdown was due to food poisoning.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia has stepped up inspection tours of commercial establishments nationwide to ensure compliance with health rules, including precautions against COVID-19.

Warned earlier

Authorities in the Saudi city of Taif said they closed down a main shopping market for its failure to observe anti-coronavirus measures. The market had been earlier warned against shutdown unless it abides by the health precautions, the Taif municipal authorities said on Twitter.

Saudi authorities have recently warned malls that they face shutdowns if they fail to heed a limit on their shoppers 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 places such as door handles, escalators and elevators as well as posting awareness signs about precautions..