Saudi Arabia began implementing new health restrictions on the collective housing of individuals, stipulating several health and technical conditions determined by the government to safeguard public safety.
The restrictions stipulate that no more than 20 people can be housed together, regardless of duration of housing or gender of those housed in any one construction unless they meet certain health conditions determined by the working committees that had started operating since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to Um Al-Qura, the official Saudi newspaper, the restrictions will come into force immediately after being published, ie Friday. These restrictions require that the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs forms permanent committees in areas and governorates that have collective housing.
The committees will be tasked with overseeing and inspecting houses to ensure that the conditions are being met, especially in labor housings inside and outside cities, and to address any violations.
They will refer any violation to the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs with a recommended punishment which could entail shutting down the entire house if needed.
Fines will be issued by the same Ministry, or a party delegated by it, and can be appealed again based on the conditions for appeals before the administrative court per the provisions of the criminal procedure system before the Board of Grievances.
According to the restrictions, whoever is in violation will be punished with imprisonment for no longer than 30 days and/or a fine that is no more than one million riyals (266,000 USD) for every violation; these may be increased during times of crises to up to 180 days of prison and/or a fine of up to two million riyals.