Restaurants and cafes, which had been limited to take-away meals since late January, can open with no more than 30 customers at one time, the ministry of health said. Social gatherings of more than 30 people in homes and private venues are still prohibited.
Even though the Health Ministry says the rate of infections is coming down, all regions were placed into the strictest "red zone” lockdown through Monday as a precaution.
"The decision to lift the suspension on citizens travelling outside Saudi Arabia will go into effect at 1:00 am on May 17," the ministry said, adding that the kingdom will re-open its land, sea and air borders.
Asad Umar cautioned that while restrictions were being relaxed, there were still 4,500 patients on oxygen. "If we immediately try to open a lot of things then God forbid, it might happen that we have to close everything again as we saw in the region."
Satisfied with the overall situation, the NCOC announced to lift various COVID-19 restrictions from July 1 owing to the downward trend in infections across the country. Cinemas to operate till 1am, with entry for vaccinated persons only.