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Saudi Arabia suspends all international flights for two weeks

Saudi Arabia suspends all international flights for two weeks

During the two weeks a few flights would be operated as “exceptional cases”

An official at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior has confirmed that all international flights to and from the kingdom will be suspended for two weeks beginning at 11am on Sunday, March 15, reported official news channel Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

It is aimed as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The kingdom’s ministry added that for those citizens and expatriates who are unable to return to the kingdom due to the suspension of flights, it would be considered as an official holiday.

The same applies to those within the kingdom who have been quarantined or have been asked to self-isolate.

During the two weeks a few flights would be operated as “exceptional cases”.

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

For all passengers arriving with the country, “necessary arrangements will be made regarding health procedures for examination and isolation in accordance with the preventive measures.”

The kingdom’s ministry of interior and General Authority of Civil Aviation would make arrangements to assist citizens who wish to return during this period and an announcement regarding this would be made shortly.

On Saturday, the kingdom reported 17 new cases in the country, taking the total up to 103 confirmed cases, including two of whom have made a full recovery.

On Thursday, before the latest announcement of the suspension of all international flights was made by the interior ministry, it had given its citizens and residents 72 hours to return to the country from countries including those within the EU, UK, a few countries in Africa and Asia too before suspending flights to those destinations.

The latest decision to suspend all international flights from the kingdom comes at a time when the Covid-19 coronavirus has spread to 117 countries prompting countries around the world to take similar measures.

The US has suspended travel between Europe, the UK and the US.

Read: UAE suspends issuance of all visas, bans travel to Italy, Turkey, among others

The UAE has also announced measures to curb flight to Italy (except Rome), China (except Beijing), Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

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