Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia to partially lift ban on international flights

Saudi passengers queue for a temperature check at terminal 5 in the King Fahad International Airport, in the capital Riyadh on May 31, 2020. (AFP)

Saudi Arabia will allow its citizens to exit and re-enter the Kingdom through all land, sea, and air ports after January 1, 2021, given that all coronavirus-related precautionary measures are followed, state news agency SPA reported on Sunday.

“Completely lifting the restrictions on citizens leaving and returning to the Kingdom, and allowing the opening of ports for the crossing of all means of transport through land, sea and air ports, after January 1, 2021, while adhering to the current coronavirus precautionary procedures,” SPA reported.

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“The specific date and time for lifting the suspension will be announced 30 days prior to January 1, 2021. The Ministry of Health may, should it be required, request to put in place certain preventative health requirements for travelers and carriers during travel, and in the halls of airports, ports, and stations,” SPA added.

GCC citizens and non-Saudis will be allowed to enter the Kingdom with valid work, residency or visit visas, given that they adhere to the coronavirus-related health precautions.

One of the main rules is that no person is allowed entry to the Kingdom, unless they have proof of being free of COVID-19. This must be done by providing a negative result of a coronavirus test that is not older tan 48 hours and must be done at a certified entity.

Saudi Arabia will later announce a plan to gradually re-allow Umrah pilgrimage, based on the coronavirus pandemic updates.

The Kingdom had banned all international travel to and from its lands since early March as a measure to control the spread of the coronavirus.

The government began re-opening and returning to “normalcy” at the end of May, but international flights remained banned.

Saudi Arabia reported 325,651 confirmed coronavirus cases, 302,870 recovered patients, and 4,268 deaths as of Sunday, according to the Ministry of Health.

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Last Update: Sunday, 13 September 2020 KSA 21:24 - GMT 18:24
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