Riyadh: “Please show me your Tawakkalna App and scan the QR-code,” a security guard said to those entering the Kingdom Center, a super skyscraper in downtown Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
The guard also asked everyone to take the temperature before entering the building.
The “Tawakkalna App” is the official Saudi contact tracing application approved by the Saudi Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of coronavirus and for verifying or providing proof of an individual’s vaccination status.
The tightened preventive measures have become a new normal in the kingdom since the Interior Ministry enforced on Sunday an order to deny access for the unvaccinated population to enter most public places or attend social events.
Most shopping malls, supermarkets, barbershops, and restaurants have carried out strict preventative measures, demanding people to wear face masks properly.
“We are requested to not only check the customers’ health code in the App but make them wear masks carefully from Aug. 1 to ensure the safety of the public zone,” said Hussain, a security guard at Riyadh Front, a fashionable retail complex in the capital.
The announcement of the new rules has increased the vaccines administered in the kingdom as many people rushed to the vaccine centers to get their “passports” to social life.
According to the recent statistic published by the Health Ministry, more than 28 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered.
Over 19.3 million people in Saudi Arabia have received at least one dose of the vaccines, while more than 8.7 million of them have received two doses, the data showed.
“More than 77.5 percent of the kingdom’s people have been vaccinated,” the Arab News reported on Sunday.
Most of the Saudis interviewed by Xinhua said they didn’t find the new policy inconvenient and believe it could facilitate the control of the pandemic.
“All of society wants to get back to normal life, and the only safe solution is to get the vaccine,” Naser Tawfiq, a doctor working in an intensive care unit, told Xinhua.
He added that by receiving the vaccines and complying with preventive measures, people could live “almost a normal life” at this stage of the pandemic in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, the Saudi government also stressed that all teachers, school staff, and students above 12 should get two doses of the vaccines before the start of the new semester.
Ali, a college student at King Saud University, said he supports the new health protocol.
“I’ve been fully vaccinated and looking forward to going back to university in the new semester as soon as possible,” he added.
In addition, the Saudi authorities have ramped up efforts to monitor compliance with health and safety measures to help stop coronavirus spread.
Violations, including non-compliance with social distancing and mask-wearing, leniency in measuring temperature, overcrowding, and failure to use the Tawakkalna App effectively, would be punished by authorities