Covid-19: Pilgrims begin 7-day isolation before performing Haj
Riyadh - Pilgrims who met the health requirements and conditions for this year's Haj began home isolation.
As part of stringent safety measures against Covid-19, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Haj and Umrah said on Sunday that pilgrims have been placed in a 7-day quarantine period prior to performing Haj.
"According to the health protocol approved for Haj, pilgrims who met the health requirements and conditions for this year's Haj began today the 7-day home isolation procedures," the ministry said on Twitter.
According to SPA reports quoted in Al Arabiya, security forces have secured the Holy sites to prevent entry of pilgrims without a permit. The security officials pointed out that strict action will be taken against those who violate safety rules and will be fined 10,000 riyals ($2,667) which will double if the violation is repeated.
While those trying to illegally transport unregistered pilgrims to perform Haj, will be jailed 15 days and fined up to 10,000 riyals for each unauthorized pilgrim transported. The penalty increases to two months in jail and a fine of no more than 25,000 riyals for each unauthorized pilgrim for second time offenders, while those who are caught for the third time will be jailed for a period no longer than six months and a fine of no more than 50,000 riyals for each unauthorized pilgrim.
While, if an expatriate is involved in illegal transport of unregistered pilgrims, the violator will be deported after serving the jail term and be banned from re-entering the Kingdom.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Kingdom decided to allow only 10,000 domestic pilgrims to perform Haj this year, of which 70 per cent will be expatriates and the remaining 30 per cent will be Saudi nationals. Only those pilgrims with Haj permits will be allowed. Last year, around 2.5 million foreign and domestic pilgrims had performed Haj, Saudi Gazette reported earlier.