The Saudi ministry of interior has cautioned citizens and residents that any person who breaks COVID-19 safety precautions and preventative measures would face severe penalties.
The ministry stated in a statement that anyone who does not wear a face mask would be fined 1,000 Saudi riyals. If the offence is repeated, the fine will be doubled, up to a maximum of 100,000 riyals.
The ministry declared on December 29, that face masks and social distancing standards must be worn in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), an official source from the ministry of health declared the decision was taken owing to an increase in COVID-19 cases and Omicron threat. The health ministry, all processes and measures in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are subject to constant evaluation by specialised health authorities.
It also emphasised the significance of implementing all preventative and protective measures to protect citizens’ and residents’ health. Those who break the protocols may face legal consequences.
Last year on October 17, due to a consequential decline in COVID-19 cases and a considerable development in vaccinations in the Kingdom, the interior ministry of Saudi Arabia eases the COVID-19 restrictions. Masks were no longer mandatory at open public places. This rule was only applicable to those who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
In addition, the social distancing measure was also relaxed by the Saudi government. According to the Saudi Press agency, public places like wedding halls, restaurants, cinemas and transport was allowed to operate at their full capacity for fully vaccinated people.
The relaxation also allowed people in full capacity to attend the country’s two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah. Relaxing the COVID-19 curb decision was approved by King Salman and was announced by the ministry of interior.