Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Monday made it mandatory for people to scan the national Covid-19 app, Tawakkalna, on their smartphones before entering public establishments like malls, shopping centres etc., in order to prove they are immunised, Arab News reported. The Kingdom introduced the Tawakkalna app last year to tackle the pandemic.
People could prove their vaccination status through scanning the barcode in the app, Saudi's Ministry of Commerce informed in a press conference, during which developments on tackling the pandemic in the capital was also briefed.
The ministry spokesperson, Abdulrahman Al-Hussein, said that trade and business establishments should install code for automatic health verification permits at the entrances and staff be made responsible for ensuring customers scan the barcode before entry.
He added that only fully vaccinated people, except those with exceptions, are to be allowed into these establishments, and the new measure is to check the spread of Covid-19.
Arab News reported that Omicron, the new variant of Covid-19, infections in the Kingdom have more than doubled in a week. On Sunday, the administration had urged the citizens, including eligible children, to get fully vaccinated or get booster doses.
Saudi had started vaccinating children between five and eleven years of age since last Thursday, though those vulnerable are given priority. The administration called for Covid-19 appropriate behaviour such as wearing face masks, washing hands, self-quarantine for those showing symptoms etc.
The world is once again on caution after the Omicron has surged exponentially in many countries.