Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia extends travel restrictions, border closure to May 17

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Saudi Arabia will be extending the travel ban for its citizens, and will reopen its air, land, sea on May 17, instead of March 31, as a coronavirus countermeasure, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Interior announced on Friday.

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Due to the current global delays in vaccine deliveries by manufacturers and in light of the second wave of the virus spreading rapidly around the world, the ministry said it will be extending its travel restrictions.

Saudi Arabia was forced to reschedule appointments for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine after pharmaceutical company Pfizer said they would be delaying deliveries worldwide.

Medina resident receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter)
Medina resident receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter)

The Kingdom wants to ensure that the majority of the public are immunized against the coronavirus before lifting the ban and reopening borders, the official Saudi Press Agency cited the ministry as saying.

It also wants to maintain the low infection rate currently being reported in the Kingdom, the statement added.

Earlier this month, officials had said that travel restrictions and international flights would resume starting from March 31. Land and sea ports were also expected to reopen on the same day.

Saudi Arabia suspended flights in December 28 after the emergence of a more infectious strain of COVID-19.

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