Authorities in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are currently preparing to gradually reopen the King Fahd Causeway bridge linking the two countries some time after Eid al-Adha, according to sources who spoke to Dammam-based al-Yaum newspaper.
The King Fahd Causeway Authority recently completed the installation of new gates on the Saudi Arabian side of the bridge that will see it fitted with automated payment portals to ease contactless interaction of travelers crossing into Bahrain.
Authorities within Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) also confirmed that it had used the downtime during the bridge’s closure to implement e-payment lanes as part of overdue plans to upgrade procedures.
The 25-kilometer-long bridge linking Bahrain's al-Jasra to Saudi Arabia's al-Khobar has been closed since March 7 when both countries shut their borders due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Sources who spoke to al-Yaum newspaper did not confirm the exact date of the bridge’s reopening, but added that authorities were aiming for a gradual process starting in August after the upcoming Eid al-Adha holidays.
Last week, Bahrain’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Waleed al-Manea, confirmed that the authorities on both sides have laid out procedures and protocols ahead of the King Fahd Causeway’s reopening to preserve the health and safety of travelers.
“Coordination is continuous between the two sides to coordinate the movement of entry and exit of travelers across the King Fahd bridge within the standards and precautions used in fighting the COVID-19 coronavirus in order to preserve their safety, which is our top priority,” al-Manea said last Wednesday.