Saudi Arabia suspended entry to the kingdom from 20 countries amidst the global surge in corona virus cases, the state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday. However, diplomats, Saudi citizens, medical practitioners and their families are exempted from the ban, which will come into effect from 9 pm on Wednesday.
The Saudi Ministry of Interior listed the countries with the temporary ban upon entry into the kingdom:
• United Arab Emirates, India, Pakistan, United States of America, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Egypt, Turkey, Brazil, Portugal, United Kingdom, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Lebanon, Argentina and Japan.
The travel suspension also applies to those with Umrah visas and visitors including travellers who have transited through any of the countries listed in the travel ban must notify the kingdom 14 days prior to the entry and take permission.
The action will affect many as Dubai had been considered a major transit hub from countries with no direct flights to Saudi Arabia.
The Ministry stated this move comes 'as a part of its relentless efforts to control and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 as well as due to the importance of maintaining the epidemiological situation and public health in the country'.