Nine people who broke COVID-19 restrictions while attempting to perform the holy pilgrimage of Hajj in Saudi Arabia were fined $2,666 (10,000 Saudi Riyals) each, security forces announced Saturday.
The offenders were caught trying to take part in the pilgrimage without having obtained the required permits.
Only around 60,000 people were granted permits to take part in this year’s Hajj in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In pre-pandemic years, more than two million people would attend the weeklong pilgrimage.
The offenders were found in the Mina district of Mecca, otherwise known as the ‘tent city,’ which houses pilgrims each year.
Hajj security forces spokesperson Sami al-Shuwairekh said in a statement to the official Saudi news agency SPA that anyone attempting to reach Mecca’s Grand Mosque, the surrounding area, or the holy sites of Mina, Muzdalifah, and Arafat during the week of Hajj (July 17-22) would be fined.