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Saudi Arabia limits social gatherings, closes restaurants

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Saudi Arabia is closing restaurants and entertainment venues, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday, in a bid to limit social gatherings amid a rising coronavirus infection rates.

In-door entertainment venues, cinemas, gyms and sports centres will be closed for 10 days.

The ministry also banned dining in restaurants, which will only operate for takeaway orders.

Weddings and work conferences at hotels or other private facilities will be banned for 30 days.

The new measures will go into effect on Thursday evening.

It measures came two days after the kingdom banned arrivals from 20 countries, including Germany, France, Britain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Only Saudi citizens, diplomats and health workers will be allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia from these countries.

The Gulf country has so far confirmed more than 368,500 virus cases, resulting in 6,386 deaths.

Saudi Arabia, with a population of around 34 million, started vaccinations against COVID-19 in December and said it has vaccinated some 391,000 people. (dpa/NAN)

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