Saudi Arabia lifts temporary flight ban

Staff Correspondent | Published: 12:11, Jan 03,2021


Saudi Arabia has lifted the temporary travel ban imposed last December as a precautionary measure following the detection of a mutated type of COVID-19 in a number of countries, the Ministry of Interior said early Sunday, reports Arab News.

Entry into the Kingdom by air, land, and sea will resume at 11:00am Sunday, the ministry said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

Some restrictions including asking non-Saudis coming from the UK, South Africa, and other countries where the COVID-19 variant had been detected, to stay at least 14 days out of these countries before entering the Kingdom.

Saudi citizens who were allowed to enter for humanitarian and essential cases, coming from countries where the new COVID-19 variant spread, were required to remain in their homes for 14 days for observation.

Cases of the new variant, which was first detected in the UK, had been reported in European countries including France, Sweden, and Spain. It had also been detected in South Africa, Jordan, Canada, and Japan.

Saudi Arabia had started rolling out vaccines against COVID-19, starting with those considered high risk.

The Kingdom had also seen a steady decline in the number of new cases and deaths from the pandemic.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Health recorded only 101 new cases, the lowest number in nine months, with two regions reporting zero cases.

A total of 362,488 people had contracted the disease in the Kingdom since COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

Of the total number of cases, 2,772 remain active and 401 in critical condition.

The total number of deaths as of January 1 is 6,230.

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