Asia - Pacific

Saudi Arabia to lift pandemic-linked travel ban Jan. 1

All restrictions on departures and returns to be removed with new year

Ibrahim Ramadan, Hamdi Yildiz   | 14.09.2020
Saudi Arabia to lift pandemic-linked travel ban Jan. 1

RIYADH

Saudi Arabia will lift a coronavirus-related travel ban at the beginning of the new year, its official news agency said Sunday.

The Ministry of Interior announced that as of Jan. 1, 2021, all restrictions on the entry and exit of citizens will be lifted and all means of transport by land, sea and air will be reopened while adhering to the current COVID-19 precautionary procedures, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Additionally, some people including civil servants, businessmen, those needing medical treatment abroad and students will be exempted from the restrictions as of Sept. 15.

Citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council states will also be allowed to enter and exit the country from Sept. 15, while the decision to allow the resumption of Umrah, or the ‘minor pilgrimage’ undertaken by Muslims, will be assessed separately depending on the spread of COVID-19.

Since first being detected in Wuhan, China in December, COVID-19 has claimed more than 922,000 lives in 188 countries and regions.

The US, India and Brazil are currently the worst-hit countries.

Over 28.89 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries exceeding 19.5 million, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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