Coronavirus

Saudi Arabia set to ease restrictions on international flights this week

The Interior Ministry announced that non-Saudi citizens with residency permits and visas will be allowed to enter the kingdom as of Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia set to ease restrictions on international flights this week
MARTIN ABUGGAO AFP

The Saudi Interior Ministry has declared that restrictions on international flights that were imposed several months ago due to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak will be eased this week.

As of Tuesday, Gulf and non-Saudi citizens will be allowed to enter the Kingdom, as long as they have valid residency permits or visas and providing they are not carriers of the virus, according to a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency.

People belonging to “exceptional categories”, including Saudi government and military employees, embassy workers, students, and people requiring medical treatment, will also be allowed to enter and exit the kingdom from Tuesday.

The ministry also announced on Sunday that all restrictions on air, land, and sea transport for Saudi citizens will come to an end after 1 January of next year, adding that the exact date will be announced in December.

The kingdom had to suspend all international flights back in March due to the uncontrollable spread of the infections with many citizens found themselves stranded abroad, in addition to calling off all religious rituals carried out like hajj and the year-round Umrah.

The kingdom later resorted to organizing a minimized hajj (pilgrimage) with only up to 10,000 Muslims attending, while last year's hajj was attended by nearly 2.5 million.

Saudi Arabia has reported the highest number of infections in the Gulf with a caseload of over 326,000 infections so far and more than 4,300 deaths.