Children below the age of 12 are exempt from having coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines and are free allowed to enter recreational events and activities in open spaces, the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has said.
This comes in coordination with the Public Health Authority (Weqaya), and within the framework of the GEA’s role in organizing entertainment events in accordance with the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
Children, however, must be accompanied by immunized adults, should be free from flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat), and their health status in the “Tawakkalna” application must confirm they are “not infected” and have “not come into contact with an infected person.”
The GEA said that the ban on children entering recreational activities held in closed places will continue, and their entry will be limited to those who have been either immunized with at least one dose or have recovered from the virus.
The authority had previously issued decisions stipulating that entry to entertainment events be restricted to those who were immune. It also limited attendance to 40 percent of the total capacity in open spaces, emphasizing the precautionary measures of social distancing, mask-wearing, and providing sanitizers in various locations of the event.
Meanwhile, the Saudi infectious disease expert, Ahmed Al-Hakawi, cited a Singaporean study which concluded that immunized individuals infected with the COVID-19 delta variant can recover from the virus faster than the unvaccinated.
Al-Hakawi, who is also a hospital epidemiologist in Riyadh, said that the study — conducted on more than 200 people infected with the variant in Singapore — found that faster recoveries among the vaccinated result in shorter isolation periods and reduced transmission of the virus to others.
The study included 71 people who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 130 others who were not.
Saudi Arabia on Thursday reported nine more COVID-19-related deaths, taking the overall toll to 8,366.