Syria suspends entry of ‘tourist groups’ from states with coronavirus cases
The Syrian regime temporarily suspended on Sunday the entry of “tourist groups” from states which have confirmed coronavirus cases, according to state news agency SANA, in the first measures taken by the war-torn country against COVID-19.
The cabinet’s announcement, carried by SANA, seemingly points to Shia tourists who flock to Syria for pilgrimage at significant Shia sites such as the Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque and the Sayyidah Ruqayya Mosque.
Pilgrimage tours from Iran to Syria had been stopped since 2011, but in December last year, Tehran claimed that “security has returned to Syria” and announced that Iranians may once again register for a pilgrimage to the country, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.
Flights between Iran, heavily affected by the coronavirus, and Syria are still operative, raising concerns about the humanitarian situation in the country, where the health system has been stretched to breaking point after almost nine years of war.
Kuwait announced on Sunday that it will test all travelers coming from Egypt and Syria via all airlines for the coronavirus, both upon departure from the two countries and arrival in Kuwait, state news agency KUNA reported.