Cairo: Saudi authorities have urged shoppers for the upcoming Eid Al Fitr, which follows Ramadan, to avoid crowding as the kingdom battles to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The Ministry of Commerce has advised people to do their shopping at non-rush hours and make use of online shopping, Saudi media reported.
Doing the Eid shopping before the end of Ramadan at an early opportunity offers wide choices for consumers and allows them to benefit from the after-sale services including goods exchange or return, the ministry added. It has also instructed shopping centres to extend their working hours to ease crowding.
Pre-Eid shopping is usually a major season in Muslim countries where people traditionally buy new clothes to celebrate the three-day festival
Saudi authorities have recently warned malls that they face shutdown 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 posting 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.
The kingdom so far has registered a total of 414,219 coronavirus cases and 6,922 fatalities.