Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia: Deportation, fines up to $53,000 for workers’ gatherings

Health workers prepare to perform nose swab tests during a drive through coronavirus test campaign held in a hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 7, 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (AFP)

Workers in Saudi Arabia who do not live together can be deported if they violate coronavirus precautionary measures and gather in groups of more than five at a time, and fines for such violations can reach up to 200,000 Saudi riyals ($53,309), according to the Ministry of Interior (MOI).

The MOI specified that this applies to any gathering of more than five workers who do not live together, inside homes or buildings under construction or rest-stops or farms and the like, other than their residences.

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For first time offenders: An establishment or manager will be fined 50,000 riyals ($13,327). An individual who attends the gathering or calls for it or causes it will be fined 5,000 riyals ($1,333).

Second time offenders: An establishment or manager will be fined 100,000 riyals ($26,654). An individual who attends the gathering or calls for it or causes it will be fined 10,000 riyals ($2,665).

Third time offenders: The fine will be doubled for the establishment, and the person in charge will be referred to the Public Prosecution. An individual who attends the gathering or calls for it or causes it will be also be referred to 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 in a statement on Twitter.

“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.

Saudi Arabia had started at the end of May its re-opening plan.

It shortened curfew, allowed the resumption of some economic activities, allowed performing group prayers in mosques, the return of public and private employees to work from their offices, the resumption of dine-in services in restaurants and cafes, the operation of domestic flights, among others.

It also set strict sector-specific COVID-19 precautionary measures, which included labor housing and work sites.

This dictated that employers must provide adequate housing for labor workers in the construction and contracting sector that ensures the availability of 12 square meters of space, reducing interaction between groups of workers in different residential areas, daily temperature checks, increasing sanitization operations, among others.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 17 June 2020 KSA 07:14 - GMT 04:14
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