Saudi Arabia lifts travel ban from 11 countries


RIYADH: Excluding Pakistan, Saudi Arabia has allowed people from 11 countries to travel to the middle eastern country as it lifted the travel ban from Sunday that was imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, Gulf News reported.

Citing people familiar with the development, Saudi Newspaper said that the travel ban will be lifted from 11 countries starting at 1 am on Sunday (local time). The travelers from these countries will, however, be required to go through institutional quarantine. Travelers from the United Arab Emirates, Germany, the United States, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, France, and Japan, will be allowed entry from Sunday.

“Due to stability in the epidemiological scene and effective pandemic-controlling efforts in those countries, Saudi Arabia has decided to allow travelers coming from the 11 countries, starting from Sunday 1 am, Gulf News reported quoting an official source at the Saudi Interior Ministry.

International passengers coming into Saudi Arabia are all required to undergo a seven-day mandatory quarantine period at their own expense, starting from the day of arrival, at one of the kingdom’s quarantine facilities the publication reported.

On the seventh day, they must take a PCR test, after which they will be allowed to leave quarantine if it comes back negative.

In February, Saudi Arabia temporarily halted flights with several countries, exempting Saudis, diplomats, and health workers from the ban.

The 20 countries on the ban list were Argentina, the UAE, France, Germany, the US, Indonesia, India, Japan, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, Brazil, Portugal, the UK, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, the Swiss Confederation, Lebanon, and Egypt.