Coronavirus: Saudi residents face deportation for gathering in weddings, funerals

Health workers prepare to perform nose swab tests during a drive through coronavirus test campaign in the Saudi capital Riyadh on May 7, 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. (AFP)

The Ministry of Interior said on Saturday that residents who violate nationwide coronavirus precautionary measures and gather for social occasions such as weddings, funerals, parties, seminars and the like will be deported and banned from ever re-entering the Kingdom.

The MOI also specified fines for violators of the ban on gatherings.

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First time offenders: An establishment or the person in charge will be fined 30,000 riyals ($7,983). Anyone who attends the gathering or calls for the gathering will be fined 5,000 riyals ($1,330).

Second time offenders: An establishment will be fined 60,000 riyals ($15,966). Anyone who attends a gathering for the second time or calls for it will be fined 10,000 riyals ($2,661).

Third time offenders: The fine will be doubled, and the person in charge will be referred to the Public Prosecution. Anyone who attends a gathering for the third time or calls for it will also be referred to the Public Prosecution.

“In case a private sector establishment repeated the violation for the first time, it will be shut down for three months. If the violation was repeated for a second time, the establishment will be shut down for six months,” the MOI said.

“If a violator is a resident of Saudi Arabia, he will be deported from the Kingdom, and will be forever forbidden from re-entering it after his punishment is carried out,” MOI added.

The Kingdom had also said earlier this week that residents who gather in large groups inside or outside shops will face deportation as well.

Gatherings of more than five individuals remain banned in the Kingdom as part of the government’s precautions to contain the spread of coronavirus.

There are 70,161 confirmed coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia, 41,236 recovered COVID-19 patients, and 379 deaths due to the virus, as of Saturday, according to the Ministry of Health.

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Last Update: Saturday, 23 May 2020 KSA 21:41 - GMT 18:41
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