Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia bans entry to holy sites without Haj permit

Saudi Arabia on Sunday announced that no one will be able to enter the holy sites in Mecca and Medina during the coming Haj season without a permit. A fine of 10,000 Saudi riyals will be imposed on violators, state press agency SPA said.

The Ministry of Interior said: “Heightened security measures and strict coronavirus-related restrictions will be implemented to prevent entry to holy sites without a permit from July 5 to 23.”

A source at the ministry was quoted by SPA as saying: “Anyone caught attempting to enter the Grand Mosque and its surrounding area as well as holy sites in Mina, Muzdalifa and Arafat from July 5 to 23, to perform Haj rituals without permits will be fined 10,000 Saudi riyals (about US$2,666).

Fine will be doubled for repeat offenders.

Security personnel will be deployed on all roads leading to the holy sites to prevent violations.

Saudi Arabia decided in June to limit the number of domestic pilgrims to 60,000 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, after barring Muslims abroad from participating in Haj. 


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