The “return to normalcy” phase in Saudi Arabia is taking place under public caution and will last 20 days before entering the third phase which is expected to see the lifting of total lockdown on June 21.
Tourist and entertainment sites in the Kingdom witnessed a shy return of visitors during permitted hours from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm. The return took place amid heightened preventative measures by both visitors and resort and restaurant owners to avoid penalties imposed by authorities.
Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Border Guard, on Twitter, announced that it will permit maritime activities so long that they abide by curfew hours and safety preventative measures.
Asharq Al-Awsat explored touristic sites alongside the Jeddah coastline, where public awareness was prevalent. Touristic spots, restaurants, and marine cafes were crowd-free.
Visitors at the city’s corniche abided by seating instructions that respect social distancing measures.
Only a handful of restaurant-goers had visited Jeddah’s beachfront eateries in the past few days. A restaurant manager, speaking under the conditions of anonymity, said that operations were at 30%, a low level that matches expectations of the cautious yet gradual reopening of restaurants.
As part of the preventative measures, restaurants measure the temperature of clients, make sure they are wearing masks, and only seats four at a table at a time.
Despite the reopening of restaurants, many are choosing to sit by the beach and enjoy a fresh breeze.
In line with the new phase, Saudi Arabia announced a series of preventive protocols to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The new stage tests the health system's capacities for absorbing critical situations and continuing extensive screening. It also highlights the importance of community awareness in adhering to preventive measures.