Dubai: Around 2,050 people have been detained in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca for attempting to infiltrate into the holy sites without Haj permits, local media reported quoting a spokesman of the Haj Security Forces Command.
The spokesman added that legal actions have been taken against the violators for their foiled attempt to perform Haj in violation of the coronavirus precautionary measures and preventive protocols.
The security forces had clamped a tight security cordon in and around the holy sites to enforce the regulations and catch the violators during the days preceding the annual pilgrimage of Haj, the spokesman said.
On July 19, Saudi Arabia started prohibiting people without permits from entering the holy places in Mecca, Muzdalifah, Arafat and Mina under a strict security plan.
The restriction remains in place until the end of Sunday to ensure a safe scaled-down Haj held amid COVID-19 fears.
Violations are punishable by a fine of SR10,000 that will be doubled in case of repetition.
SPA quoted the spokesman as urging Saudis and expatriate residents to abide by the Haj-related instructions. “Security men are imposing a tight lockdown on holy places to enforce instructions and catch violators,” he added.