Saudi Arabia expands travel ban to 39 states including EU

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia temporarily suspended on Thursday the travel of its citizens and residents to 39 countries including 27 European Union states amid a jump in the number of coronavirus cases from 21 to 45 with reporting of 24 new cases, including 21 in Makkah.

The new measures were taken as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Saudi Press Agency reported citing statements of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health sources. The statements follow confirmation of the first case of recovery among the coronavirus infected persons in the Eastern Province on Wednesday.

“Saudi Arabia’s government decided to temporarily suspend the travel of citizens and residents, and to suspend flights to the European Union countries, as well as Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia,” said the source at the Ministry of Interior.
he 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.

The Kingdom also suspended passenger traffic through land crossings with Jordan, while commercial and cargo traffic is still allowed.

It is noteworthy that the Kingdom on March 9 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.

The Kingdom announced on Feb. 27 the temporary suspension of entry for Umrah performers in Makkah and visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, as well as tourists traveling from countries where the coronavirus poses a major risk to health and safety of people.

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