Islamic Lifestyle

Saudi Arabia suspends flights to EU, more countries to control COVID-19 spread

Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended travel of its citizens and resident expatriates to more countries as a preventive and precautionary measure to control and prevent the entry and spread of COVID-19.

State news agency SPA reported on Thursday (Mar 12) an official source at the Ministry of Interior saying the Kingdom has temporarily suspended flights to the EU countries, Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia.

Saudi Arabia has also suspended the entry for people coming from these nations, and the entry of those who have been in the affected countries 14 days prior to arrival.

SPA said there is a 72-hour period for citizens and residents to return to Saudi Arabia before the travel suspension comes into effect.  

The suspension excludes health practitioners working in Saudi Arabia who are citizens of the Philippines and India, as well as those involved in evacuation, shipping and trade trips, with necessary precautions to be taken.

All land borders with Jordan has also been suspended but commercial, freight traffic, and humanitarian shipments are still allowed.

Saudi Arabia on Mar 9 suspended travel for its citizens and resident expatriates to Oman, France, Germany, Turkey and Spain. It also suspended entry into the Kingdom for people arriving from these countries and those who had been in them 14 days prior to arrival.

This followed an earlier decision to suspend travel to the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, South Korea, Egypt, Italy and Iraq.

Saudi Arabia on Feb 27 suspended all entries for umrah as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

The Kingdom had 20 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 as at Mar 11, according to data from the World Health Organisation. 

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