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Saudi Arabia to deport and bar re-entry for expats who flout coronavirus measures

Saudi Arabia has enforced strict lockdown measures [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 May, 2020

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Saudi Arabia is enforcing strict measures during the coroanvirus crisis.

 

Saudi Arabia warned on Tuesday that expatriates flouting coronavirus lockdown measures at shops will be deported and barred from re-entering the kingdom.

The ministry of interior issued strict guidelines on social distancing rules, which includes banning gatherings outside malls and stores.

This includes harsh fines for commercial establishments that have more shoppers, inside or outside their outlets, than are permitted by social distancing laws.

The ministry also warned that it will deport expatriates who ignore the coronavirus measures at malls and shops, Saudi broadcaster Al-Arabiya reported.

"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."

There are also a number of penalties for stores and establishments that break coronavirus measures.

This includes 5,000 riyals fines ($1,330) for each person inside venues above capacity levels, while second time offenders will pay 10,000 riyals per person.

A third time offence will see the fine doubled again and managers 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 ministry statement read.

Gatherings of more than five people were banned on the weekend with violators liable for fines and other penalties.

Saudi Arabia has eased its curfew but is set to enforce stricter lockdown measures during the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, including closing stores.

Saudi Arabia has seen the worst outbreak of coronavirus in the Arab world with nearly 60,000 recorded cases and 329 deaths from Covid-19.


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