Hajj 2020: Fine and jail time for non-permitted pilgrims

Only 1,000 people will be accommodated for Hajj in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

JEDDAH: Anyone trying to enter Hajj sites without permission will face severe penalties, the commander of the Hajj security forces said on Sunday.

To deter violators from entering the holy sites, tough security measures in place for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.

Only 1,000 people will be accommodated for Hajj in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Hajj this year is very different and exceptional,” Major-General Zayed Al-Tuyan, commander of Hajj Security, said at a press conference, according to Arab News.

“Hajj will be in very limited numbers under strict precautionary measures, and we will impose a complete security cordon around holy places and pilgrims during their movements.”

The non-permitted pilgrims will face jail of 15 days in jail for first time violators and fines starting from SR10,000 ($2,666) for each on any offender.

The fine is SR50,000 and six months in prison in addition to confiscation of the vehicle if the violation is repeated.

Expats will also face deportation from the country if they were found violating the tough security measures.

It will be the first time in the modern history of Saudi Arabia that Muslims outside the kingdom have been barred from performing the hajj, which normally attracts over two million pilgrims from around the globe.

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