Dubai: UAE airlines have announced the temporary suspension of passenger flights to Saudi Arabia, in accordance with fresh directives issued by the Kingdom banning passengers from 20 countries.
The official websites of UAE carriers Etihad Airways and Emirates on Wednesday reflected the new update, which takes effect today, February 3, starting from 9 p.m. Saudi time, the Khaleej Times reported.
"Effective 3 February 21:00 Saudi time - you will not be permitted to enter Saudi Arabia if you are travelling from or have been in any of the following countries in the past 14 days: Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, USA, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, Brazil, Portugal, United Kingdom, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Lebanon, Egypt, India, Japan," said an Etihad advisory on it's official website.
However, the notice added that the restrictions do not apply to Saudi nationals and citizens, diplomats, health practitioners and their families.
Guests who have travelled to any of the above restricted countries in the past 14 days must quarantine in their homes for a period of 14 days on arrival to Saudi Arabia, it said.
The advisory further noted a mandatory quarantine of seven days for Saudi Nationals even if they aren't arriving from any of the restricted countries.
An exemption will be made for health practitioners in the United Kingdom and South Africa, however. These will be allowed to enter and must quarantine in their homes for a period of 14 days on arrival to Saudi Arabia.
An official update on the Emirates airline website said, "As directed by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Emirates will not accept non Saudi national passengers on flights from Dubai to Saudi Arabia, with immediate effect and until further notice."
It added, "Customers holding tickets with final destinations in Saudi Arabia will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin. Exemptions are diplomatic passport holders and health practitioners and their families."
As of this morning, Air Arabia flights to Jeddah also stood cancelled.