In the wake of the rapid global emergence of COVID-19’s Omicron variant, the Saudi government has reintroduced mandatory mask mandates and social distancing requirements for all those participating in indoor and outdoor activities.
Effective as of December 30, 2021, the decision was made to contain the recent rise in cases in the country but will remain subject to continuous evaluation depending on future epidemiological conditions, according to an official at the Ministry of Interior. The official urged Saudis to remain adherent to all precautionary and preventive measures, including vaccination.
The Ministry of Health has also announced that the medically-required isolation period for fully-vaccinated people who test positive for coronavirus has been reduced to seven days, effective as of January 5. The Ministry added that the individual’s Tawakkalna app would update automatically after the end of the recovery period. The isolation period for those who are not vaccinated is 10 days.
The Ministry also ruled that those in isolation for COVID-19 do not need to take a final test after the end of the recovery period, stating that “Studies indicate that immunization would contain spreading of the virus and bring down the period of infection between 5 and 7 days among the vast majority of immunized people.” The Ministry continues to stress the importance of the booster shot in preventing severe symptoms and/or hospitalization.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Kingdom has administered 52.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, with more than 23.3 million becoming fully vaccinated. In total, 544,161 have recovered from the virus.