Saudi Arabia to Fine those Who hide Health Details on Entry

Passengers coming from China wearing masks to prevent a new coronavirus are checked by Saudi Health Ministry employees upon their arrival at King Khalid International Airport, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia January 29, 2020.

Saudi Arabia announced on Monday imposing a fine of up to $133,000 (SAR500,000); on people who do not accurately declare their health details at entry points into the Kingdom, reported state television.

15 cases linked to Iran

The Kingdom confirmed 15 cases of the new coronavirus; majority of which are to travelers who were in Iran but did not declare their destination to authorities.

“All the travelers coming to the Kingdom by international flights, managers and workers of other transportation means have to respect local and international health directives,” the Kingdom’s public prosecutor said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia had already banned travel to Iran. The majority of cases in the Middle East can be traced back to Iran.

Saudi Arabia also temporarily suspended travel with the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria. Besides, South Korea, Egypt, Italy, Iraq, France, Germany, Turkey and Spain. It also announced taking legal action against any citizen going to Iran.

The Kingdom confirmed four new cases on Monday, including in an American arrival who visited Italy and the Philippines.

The American visitor are now in a hospital in Riyadh, the capital. The rest involve a Saudi national who had contact with an infected person in al-Qatif, and two Bahraini women who came from Iraq.

The interior ministry also announced on Sunday a lockdown in al-Qatif.

On Monday, authorities asked imams to deliver Friday prayer sermons in less than 15 minutes. The Islamic Affairs Ministry banned food and beverages at mosques in addition to spiritual retreats.

Suspending schools and universities

All public and private schools and universities would also be suspended from Monday until further notice, state media said, adding that distance learning measures would be adopted.

The entertainment authority announced on Monday the closure of leisure attractions Riyadh Boulevard and Winter Wonderland, over virus concerns.

Precautions on Sunday also included suspending all educational and Quranic activities in mosques in Saudi Arabia.

On Saturday, the government restricted land crossings with Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE to commercial trucks. It also limited passenger arrivals to only three airports.