This decision has been taken by the Saudi Arab to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country. It was announced by Saudi daily Arab News on Thursday, quoting Saudia, the country’s national carrier. Saudia was responding to a query asking whether the travel suspension put in place would continue. Saudi’s travel ban came into effect after the country faced an increase in the number of covid cases.
Though KSA would resume international flights from 17 May onwards, the travel ban will be prolonged for passengers from the following countries: Argentina, UAE, Germany, USA, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, Brazil, Portugal, UK, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Lebanon, Egypt, India, Japan.
Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry had earlier stated that temporary suspension includes whoever comes from other countries if they passed through any of the 20 countries during the 14 days preceding the request to enter the Kingdom.
The Saudi authorities have also temporarily banned flights from several European Union countries and Switzerland.
Saudis living in Pakistan and four other Asian countries have been asked to return home “as soon as possible” since no flights would be available from these countries even after the resumption of international flights by Riyadh.
Apart from Saudi’s travel ban, Hong Kong has also banned flights from three countries including India, Pakistan and Philippines from the 20th of April after the city reported the first two cases with highly contagious virus variant in the community over the weekend.
The Hong Kong government said that these countries are classified as areas of “extremely high risk”, adding that visitors who have stayed in the three countries for more than two hours in the past 21 days will also be restricted from boarding any passenger flights to Hong Kong.
The ban came into being from a circuit breaker arrangement which was triggered for each of the countries as there had been five or more arrivals with the N501Y mutant coronavirus strain within seven days, said the Hong Kong government. The strain was first detected in South Africa.
Pakistan is also a part of the UK’s red list of travel restrictions due to surge in Covid-19 cases.