$266,374 fine, 5 years jail for coronavirus measures violators in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior announced new fines and penalties of up to 1 million riyals ($266,374), and up to 5 years in jail for violating coronavirus precautionary measures, official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.

The most serious violation fine is up to 1 million riyals ($266,374) for those who spread rumors or false information on social media or in person about the coronavirus. They could also face up to five years in jail. The minimum fine for this is 100,000 riyals ($26,637).

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Deliberately transmitting the virus to others is considered to also be a serious violation. This could cost a person up to 500,000 riyals ($133,000) in fines and land them in jail for up to five years, in accordance with the Ministry of Interiors’ latest provisions, according to SPA.

The Kingdom has implemented several measures to slow the spread of the deadly virus, including maintaining social distancing as well imposing partial and total lockdowns throughout the country. Authorities have also introduced a permit system for those wishing to go out for necessary reasons during curfew hours.

Anyone caught using a permit not within the allowed travel route or timing, will be subjected to a minimum of close to $2,700 and up to $27,000 fine and/or jail time of up to one year, according to SPA. Meanwhile, anyone who helps a person obtain a permit when their work or circumstances do not require one will be subjected to the same amount in fines and penalties as well.

Meanwhile, people or businesses not following precautionary measures will subjected to a minimum of 1,000 riyals ($266) and up to 100,000 riyals ($26,637) fine in addition to possible jail time or a business shut down for up to six months, SPA reported.

Those who violate medical quarantine regulations will be fined up to 200,000 riyals ($53,274) and/or jail for up to two years.

The Ministry of Interior also announced that if any violator is a resident in the Kingdom, they will be deported and banned from returning to Saudi Arabia, according to SPA.

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