JEDDAH: Saudi government is lifting a ban on travellers arriving from 11 countries that it had imposed to control the spread of the COVID-19, according to the Saudi state news agency.
In spite of the ban being lifted, travellers will still require to implement strict COVID-19 SOPs and quarantine procedures. Pakistan, however, is not among those countries.
Saudi Interior Ministry said travellers from the United Arab Emirates, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, the United States, Ireland, Italy, Japan and France will be permitted entry from Sunday.
The Saudi Interior Ministry said the decision was based on the Public Health Authority’s report regarding the epidemiological situation in a number of affirmed countries, which showed stability in curbing the plague in some of these countries.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia had suspended entry to the kingdom from 20 countries on February 3, including Pakistan, with the exception of diplomats, Saudi citizens, medical practitioners and their families, to help curb the spread of the COVID-19.
The ban had been placed on Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, the US, Argentina, Brazil, Pakistan, Egypt, UAE, Lebanon, Turkey, UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa and Pakistan.
The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia had also written a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the issue. According to the letter, “those coming from other countries, if they passed through any of the above-mentioned states within 14 days before requesting entry to the kingdom.
Though the kingdom would like to ensure uninterrupted supply chains and shipping movement between the kingdom and these countries in accordance with the defensive steps decided by the Saudi officials, it added.