MAKKAH — Sixteen people have been caught and fined SR10,000 ($2,666) each over the past week for illegally trying to enter the holy sites, a Saudi Public Security spokesman was quoted by Saudi Press Agency (SPA) as saying.
Hajj pilgrims are obliged to self-quarantine before heading to the holy sites as part of new rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Authorities have severely restricted pilgrim numbers this year, as well as imposed health protocols such as social distancing, to ensure that the Hajj can be performed safely amid the coronavirus 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.
The penalty will be doubled with the repetition of the violation.
Authorities called on all citizens and residents to abide by the instructions regarding Hajj season 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.
Saudi Gazette report