RIYADH: In a bid to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Interior Ministry has barred the entry of people to the holy sites of Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat without permits from Dul Qadah 28 (July 18) to Dul Hijjah 12.
A Saudi Press Agency report quoted a source as saying that fines amounting to SR10,000 ($2,666) will be imposed on the violators.
The penalty will be doubled with the repetition of the violation, the report said.
The source called on all citizens and residents to abide by the instructions regarding Hajj season this year.
Saudi Arabia has decided to allow only a limited number of domestic pilgrims to perform Hajj this year in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Sound health condition is the main criterion for allowing performance of Hajj this year. Only those expatriates between the ages of 20 and 50 who are not suffering from any chronic diseases were entitled to apply for the pilgrimage.
Around 2.5 million foreign and domestic pilgrims had performed Hajj last year.