Saudi imposes temporary travel ban on citizens, expats | Daily News


Saudi imposes temporary travel ban on citizens, expats

Saudi Arabia has imposed a temporary travel ban on citizens and its expatriates going out of the Kingdom from Thursday due to the threat of COVID-19.

The Kingdom has already given a 72- hour deadline for its citizens to return to the country before Friday midnight.

“This is only a temporary measure to combat the COVID-19 which has been reported in several countries,” Saudi Ambassador in Colombo Abdulnasser Al-Harthy told the Daily News on Thursday. He added that hitherto, there were enough flights available for the Saudi citizens to return home in accordance with the deadline.

An official source at the Ministry of Interior stated that, in accordance with the preventive and precautionary measures recommended by the competent health authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as part of its determined efforts to control the virus, prevent its entry and spread, and based on the concern  to protect the health of citizens and expatriates and ensure their safety, the Kingdom’s government decided to temporarily suspend the travel of citizens and expatriates and suspend flights to the European Union countries, Swiss Confederation, the Republic of India, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Social Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Sudan, and The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Republic of South Sudan, the State of Eritrea, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Djibouti, and the Federal Republic of Somalia, as well as suspend the entry of those coming from those countries, and the entry of those who were there during the 14 days prior to their arrival.

The movement of passengers through all land ports with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has also been suspended, while commercial and freight traffic is still allowed, and humanitarian and exceptional cases can cross.

The decision gives a 72-hour period for citizens and those with a valid residency of the citizens of those countries to return to the kingdom before the travel suspension decision becomes effective.

The suspension’s decision excluded health practitioners working in the Kingdom of the citizens of the Philippines and India, and evacuation, shipping, and trade trips while taking the necessary precautions.

The decision indicated that the Ministries of Interior and Health may coordinate to deal with humanitarian and exceptional cases, without prejudice to the necessary precautionary and preventive measures.

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