Saudi Arabia said on Friday that employees will only be allowed to return to their workplace in person once vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination will become a “mandatory condition” for the face-to-face return of public and private sector employees, the ministry of human resources and social development said in a statement, urging workers to “begin the process” to get a jab.

The health ministry said it has administered more than 10 million coronavirus vaccine doses, in a country with a population of over 34 million.

The kingdom has reported more than 423,000 coronavirus infections and more than 7,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

On Sunday, the government said it will permit citizens immunised against COVID-19 to travel abroad from May 17.

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The interior ministry said three categories of people would be considered immunised — those who have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine, those administered a single dose at least 14 days prior to travel, and people who have recovered from the infection within the previous six months.

Last month, Saudi Arabia permitted only people immunised against COVID-19 to perform the year-round umrah pilgrimage from the start of Ramadan, the holy fasting month for Muslims.