Saudi resumes international travel with ban on 13 countries including India, Lebanon
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Saudi resumes international travel with ban on 13 countries including India, Lebanon

Saudi resumes international travel with ban on 13 countries including India, Lebanon

The ban will also extend to “any other country that is yet to control the pandemic”

Saudi Arabia Airport

Saudi Arabia is resuming international travel from Monday, May 17, although entry will be banned from 13 countries, the Ministry of Interior announced on Sunday.

The 13 countries facing the ban include Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Somalia, Democratic Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Belarus, and India.

Travellers will not be allowed entry even if they visit one of the banned nations indirectly through a third country, without prior permission from the pertinent authorities, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited a source at the Ministry of Interior as saying.

The move comes due to the “security circumstances and the instability in a number of countries as well as the continuation of the coronavirus pandemic and the spread of new variant strains of the virus in others”, the source said.

The ban will also extend to “any other country that is yet to control the pandemic” or is proven to have an outbreak of a variant strain of the virus.

The kingdom had imposed a ban on 20 countries in early February to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus including the UAE, Germany, the US, the UK, South Africa, France, Egypt, Lebanon, India, Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

However, travel to most of those countries will now be permitted.

The ministry urged all citizens looking to travel to “avoid spots of instability or those witnessing the virus outbreak and to abide by all precautionary measures, regardless of their destinations”.

In January, Saudi Arabia pushed the date for the full reopening of its air, land and sea borders and the resumption of all international flights to May 17.

Last week, the kingdom also announced that all non-citizens who have not received the Covid-19 vaccine and arrive in Saudi Arabia starting Thursday, May 20, will be subject to seven days of mandatory paid institutional quarantine.

Read: Saudi Arabia introduces 7-day paid institutional quarantine for unvaccinated arrivals

Saudi Arabia recorded 825 new confirmed cases on Sunday, taking the total number of infections reported in the kingdom to 433,094.

The Ministry of Health also confirmed 15 additional Covid-19 fatalities in the country, with the death toll now at 7,162.

Among the total number of cases, 8,145 remain active and 1,376 in critical condition.

Meanwhile the ministry also said that 1,028 patients had recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of recoveries in the kingdom to 417,787.

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