Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia bans travel to 39 countries including EU states

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Saudi Arabia temporarily banned the travel of its citizens and residents to 39 countries including: European Union states as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, state news agency SPA reported on Thursday citing a ministry of interior source.

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“The Kingdom’s government decided to temporarily suspend the travel of citizens and residents, and to suspend flights to the European Union countries, Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia,” said the source at the ministry of interior.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia stood at 45 cases as of early Thursday.

The government will also be suspending the entry to those coming from the aforementioned countries and entry to those who were in those countries within a time period of 14 days prior to their arrival to the Kingdom.

Read more: Saudi Arabia bans travel amid coronavirus: Ten questions answered

Saudi Arabia also suspended passenger traffic through land crossings with Jordan, while commercial and cargo traffic is still allowed. The government’s decision grants Saudi nationals and citizens of those countries with valid Saudi residency visas to return to the Kingdom before the travel suspension comes into effect.

The travel ban excludes Indian and Filipino medical practitioners working in the Kingdom and evacuation, shipping and trade trips, taking into account the necessary and required precautions.

Read more: Guide: What to do on arrival to Saudi Arabia from coronavirus-affected countries

On March 9 the Kingdom suspended travel to Oman, France, Germany, Turkey, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Italy, and South Korea. It also suspended the entry of those coming from those countries, and entry of those who were there during the 14 days prior to their arrival.

Read more: Coronavirus: Climate could be key factor limiting community infection in GCC

And on February 27 the Kingdom announced the temporary suspension of entry for individuals seeking to perform Umrah pilgrimage in Mecca or visiting the Prophet's Mosque in Madina, as well as tourists traveling from countries where the coronavirus poses a risk as determined by the Kingdom’s health authorities.

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