Saudi Arabia fines over 300 businesses for not adhering to anti-COVID-19 measures

Most of the fines were for failure to enforce social distancing rules and a lack of face masks, the Ministry of Commerce said

  
Restaurant workers wearing protective suits walk to disinfect the restaurant's cars to prepare them for food delivery during the month of Ramadan, as a preventive measure against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 19, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Restaurant workers wearing protective suits walk to disinfect the restaurant's cars to prepare them for food delivery during the month of Ramadan, as a preventive measure against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 19, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Nael Shyoukhi
 
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has fined more than 300 businesses since the start of the year for breaking rules aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Most of the fines were for failure to enforce social distancing rules and a lack of face masks, the Ministry of Commerce said.

More than 3,000 inspections were carried out between Dec. 31 and Jan. 7 at markets, centers, shops and outlets across the Kingdom.

The ministry said it had issued 306 immediate violations, most of which were for breaking social distancing rules and a lack of face masks.

The ministry said it would continue inspection tours, and stressed the importance of “measuring the temperature of employees and customers at the entrances of malls and shopping centers,” Saudi Press Agency reported.

The ministry said shops which failed to apply precautionary measures would be fined SR10,000 ($2,665). The penalty would double and the business forced to close if the violation was repeated.

It added that a fine of SR5,000 ($1,333) will be imposed on customers and employees face a fine of SR5,000 if they exceed the maximum number of people permitted in one establishment.

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