Saudi Arabia on Tuesday said vaccination against Covid-19 will be mandatory from Aug 1 to enter any government and private establishments as well as to use public transport.
The sweeping announcement aimed at boosting the kingdom’s inoculation drive comes just days after authorities said only vaccinated public and private sector workers will be allowed to return to their work place.
Vaccination will be required to “enter any government or private establishments” as well as to access any entertainment or sports activities, the interior ministry said in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency.
It will also be required to enter any education institutions and use public transport, it added.
Saudi Arabia’s health ministry said it has administered more than 12 million coronavirus vaccine doses, in a country with a population of over 34 million.
The country has reported more than 435,000 coronavirus infections and over 7,000 deaths from Covid-19.
On Monday, the government permitted citizens immunised against Covid-19 to travel abroad, more than a year after they were barred from external trips.
The interior ministry said three categories of people would be considered immunised – those who have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, those administered a single dose at least 14 days prior to travel, and people who have recovered from the infection within the previous six months.
Last month, Saudi Arabia announced it would permit only people immunised against Covid-19 to perform the year-round umrah pilgrimage during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.