Cairo: Saudi Arabia has issued a stern warning against violating quarantine rules as the kingdom is seeking to stem COVID-19 amid stringent restrictions.
Saudi health authorities so far have confirmed a total of 420,301 coronavirus cases and 6,992 related fatalities.
The country’s public prosecution has vowed tough penalties against violators including COVID-19 patients, those who are in touch with infected people or those with suspected infection cases, pointing out that the measures are necessary to protect public health.
Public prosecution said in a statement that violations of health isolation regulations are punishable by up to two years in prison and a maximum fine of SR200,000.
Convicted expatriates will be deported from the kingdom and denied re-entry forever. “Penalties will double in case of the crime repetition,” it added.
Saudi media reported the arrest of dozens of such offenders in recent weeks.
Saudi Arabia initiated mass vaccinations against COVID-10 on December 17. Authorities have offered the vaccination to citizens and foreign residents for free.
Over 9 million doses have since been administered in a vigorous inoculation campaign across the kingdom, a country of around 34.8 million population.