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Saudi Arabia bans travel, flights to EU, India, Philippines, among other countries

Saudi Arabia bans travel, flights to EU, India, Philippines, among other countries

It has given a 72-hour period for its citizens and residents from the countries on the list to return to the kingdom

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia reported that it was expanding the list of countries to which it would suspend travel to and from the kingdom, for both its citizens and expatriates, as a means to contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Read: People returning to the UAE from these countries must self-isolate for 14 days

In a statement issued by official news, Saudi Press Agency, quoting a source at the Ministry of Interior, the new list of countries to which travel to and from the kingdom will be banned and flights suspended include EU countries, Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia.

Read: Saudi extends travel bans to 14 countries, including Oman, European nations

The new list of countries is in addition to the 14 countries that were already on the list as of Tuesday. These include: UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Italy, South Korea and Syria, Oman, France, Germany, Turkey and Spain.

Read: WHO declares Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic as cases outside China soar

Also, the kingdom has decided to suspend entry of anyone coming to the kingdom who has been in any of these countries 14 days prior to their arrival.

Read: Saudi Arabia bans travel to UAE, eight other countries

The decision gives a 72-hour period for citizens and residents of the kingdom who are citizens of those countries to return to the kingdom, before the travel suspension comes into effect.

Saudi has also suspended passenger traffic through all land crossings with Jordan, while commercial and cargo traffic is still allowed and crossings on humanitarian or exceptional cases still permitted.

Read: Kuwait suspends all flights from March 13, Qatar reports over 230 new coronavirus cases

The decision excludes health workers in the kingdom from Philippines and India, and evacuation, shipping and trade trips taking necessary precautions.

Saudi Arabia has 45 coronavirus cases.

The World Health Organisation declared the Covid-19 coronavirus a pandemic on Wednesday prompting countries to take extraordinary preventive and precautionary steps.

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