Saudi Arabia Expands Flight Suspension Over COVID-19 Fear

12 March 2020


Riyadh:  Saudi Arabia on Thursday expanded the flight suspension to more countries, including India, in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the Kingdom.

The countries comprise Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia and all the EU member nations, Xinhua news agency quoted an official from the Interior Ministry as saying.

All arrivals from those countries or have been there during the past 14 days are denied access into Saudi Arabia, the official said.

Saudi citizens and residents were also banned from travelling to those countries, the official added, citing the anti-virus measures recommended by health authorities.

In addition, Saudi Arabia closed down all land ports with Jordan, expect for commercial and freight traffic, as well as humanitarian and exceptional purposes.

The ban gives a 72-hour period for Saudi citizens and residents abroad to return home.

It also excluded the Philippine and Indian health workers inside Saudi Arabia, as well as all evacuation, shipping and trade trips.

Saudi Arabia has so far reported 45 coronavirus cases, with an increase of 24 alone on Wednesday.