Saudi Arabia to impose huge fine for violating social distancing rules

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior on Thursday announced that those who break social distancing rules at public and private establishments will be fined 1,000 Saudi riyals, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Fines amounting to 1,000 Saudi riyals will be slapped on each violation and in the event of a repeat of the violations, fines will be doubled, reaching up to 100,000 Saudi riyals.

The warning came amid a surge of over 3,000 cases in the last two days, with 3,168 new infections reported on Thursday, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health.

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Violations the ministry warned against include

  • Not wearing a face mask
  • Not following social distancing measures
  • Refusing to have your temperature checked upon entering a private or public facility
  • Not following protocols when your temperature rises to above 38 degrees Celsius

COVID-19 restrictions: Saudi Arabia rules out ‘return to square one’

Saudi Arabia has ruled out re-imposing stricter measures against COVID-19 as the country sees an increase in infection rates amid a global pandemic surge.

Saudi Arabia Health Ministry spokesman Dr Mohammed Al Abdel Ali has said that “return to square one is most unlikely”, citing herd immunity after the kingdom has pursued vigorous mass vaccinations against the new COVID-19 since December 2020.

On January 7, the Ministry of Health said that 52 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered thus far.

On December 4, Authorities said that COVID-19 vaccine boosters would be considered a requirement to enter public places such as stores, cafes and other meeting places, starting in February.

The decision applies to those 18 years of age or older who received their second dose of the vaccine at least eight months ago. In August, the Ministry of Interior made two doses of the approved vaccine mandatory for people to enter all public places in the kingdom.

On December 26, the Ministry of Interior said that 1,880 violations of COVID-19 protocols were recorded in the previous week, with the highest number in Madinah, followed by the capital, Riyadh, and Makkah.

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