COVID-19: Saudi Enforces Ban Against Gatherings Above 5 People As Cases Hit 33,731

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Saudi Arabia has imposed fines between 5,000 riyals (1,333 dollars) and 100,000 riyals for large gatherings, in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus inside the kingdom.

In March, the kingdom banned gatherings in public of more than five people as it loosened a nationwide curfew several weeks after it was imposed, allowing some businesses to reopen, including shops, construction companies and factories.

However, COVID-19 infections have been steadily increasing, prompting the Interior Ministry to introduce the fines.

The oil-rich monarchy reported 1,793 new confirmed cases on Thursday, a new daily record that brings the total number of infections in the kingdom to 33,731, including 219 deaths.

The Interior Ministry said gatherings of more than five people inside houses or in open areas are now prohibited.

“Individuals who are not members of the same family or relatives who do not live in the same residence are banned from gathering.

“Gatherings of more than five people at shops will lead to a 5,000-riyal fine per person, with a maximum of 100,000 riyals.

 

“Family gatherings will be fined 10,000 riyals, while holding social events such as weddings or funerals will be fined 30,000 riyals.

 

“Workers gathering inside their residence or at their workplace would be fined 50,000 riyals.

 

“Fines will be doubled if the violation is repeated, the Interior Ministry said in the statement.

 

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, has suspended congregational prayers in mosques and halted religious journeys to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina as part of strict measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

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