Saudi Arabia suspends travel from Pakistan, other countries amid Coronavirus fears

11:23 AM | 12 Mar, 2020
Saudi Arabia suspends travel from Pakistan, other countries amid Coronavirus fears

RIYADH - Saudi Arabia on Thursday temporarily suspended travel of citizens and expatriates to a number of countries, including Pakistan where the threat of the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID19) appeared.

Taking precautionary measures, the kingdom decided to "temporarily suspend the travel of citizens and expatriates and suspend flights to the European Union countries, Swiss Confederation, the Republic of India, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Social Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Sudan, and The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Republic of South Sudan, the State of Eritrea, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Djibouti, and the Federal Republic of Somalia, as well as suspend the entry of those coming from those countries, and the entry of those who were there during the 14 days prior to their arrival".

The movement of passengers through all land ports with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has also been suspended, while commercial and freight traffic is still allowed, and humanitarian and exceptional cases can cross, said the Saudi Press Agency.

The decision gives a 72-hour period for citizens and those with valid residency of the citizens of those countries to return to the kingdom, before the travel suspension decision becomes effective.

The suspension's decision excluded health practitioners working in the Kingdom of the citizens of the Philippines and India, and evacuation, shipping and trade trips, while taking the necessary precautions.

The decision indicated that the Ministries of Interior and Health may coordinate to deal with humanitarian and exceptional cases, without prejudice to the necessary precautionary and preventive measures.