Saudi Arabia to lift all travel restrictions from January 2021


Daijiworld Media Network - Riyadh (SP)

Riyadh, Sep 14: Saudi Arabia is set to totally withdraw travel restrictions it had imposed on people coming into and leaving from the country. Saudi Press Agency reported that the state will open its surface, sea, and air transport sectors from January 1, 2021.

The country had imposed restrictions as a measure to control the spread of coronavirus infection. The effective date from which the relaxations will come into effect will be announced 30 days before January 1, the agency stated.

In a statement on Sunday, the interior ministry attributed the delay in lifting the restrictions due to the severe Covid-19 situation in some countries, reports Xinhua news agency.

The health ministry said it has the right, according to the situation, to impose certain precautionary measures.

Some sectors would be allowed to travel, including government officials, diplomats and ill individuals.

The Kingdom will partially lift the ban of international flights and open land, sea, and air borders for those who were excepted from the travel ban to enter and leave Saudi Arabia.

As per the Saudi Press Agency, the Kingdom will be partially lifting its suspension of international flights as of September 15 so as to allow 'exceptional categories' of citizens and residents to travel. Exceptional categories include public and military sector employees, diplomats and their families, those working for public or non-profit private sector jobs abroad, businessmen, patients who need treatment abroad, those studying abroad as well as people with humanitarian cases, and sports teams. The exceptions will also cover scholarship students, self-sponsored students, trainees in medical fellowship programmes whose studies or training require travel to other countries.

GCC citizens and non-Saudi residents with valid residency, or visitors' visas will be allowed to enter the kingdom as of September 15 provided that they have tested negative for coronavirus in the last 48 hours.

Back in March, Saudi had also suspended international flights as a measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. Along with travel restrictions, there were 24-hour curfews on most towns and cities.

Meanwhile, the Kingdom is also planning to gradually allow the umrah pilgrimage. In March, Saudi had suspended the year-round umrah over fears of the coronavirus pandemic spreading to Islam’s holiest cities.

So far, Saudi has recorded 325,651 coronavirus cases and 4,268 deaths.

 

  

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