Saudi has reimposed a ban on to and fro travel from UAE and three other countries, including Ethiopia, Vietnam and Afghanistan. The travel restrictions will come into effect from 11 PM Sunday, July 4, state-run news agency SPA reported on Saturday.
The latest directive comes amidst mounting cases of Covid variants in the aforementioned countries, with the Kingdom cautioning Saudi citizens against travelling to these countries, the Interior Ministry announced.
All those arriving into the Kingdom after Sunday from any of these countries will need to undergo quarantine, including Saudi citizens. However, entry access will be allowed to travellers from the four listed countries given that they have been in other countries, where Saudi has permitted travel, 14 days before entry into the kingdom.
Earlier, Saudi's Public Health Authority (PHA) had noted that 13 countries, including India, Turkey, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Armenia, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela, and Belarus, are still in the red list and citizens are to take prior permission before heading to these countries.
"The restriction has bewildered us, expatriates, making us worry about how worse the pandemic crisis could go," Rayees Gafoor, an Indian expatriate in Saudi, told Madhyamam. "I was to travel to the UAE on a short visit to attend my sister's wedding."
"My boss, who is an entrepreneur and a frequent traveller to the UAE for his business trips, also had to reschedule his plans. Unfortunately, the unexpected ban belittles our enjoyment during the hard times," added Rayees, an operating manager for eight years in Saudi.
The ministry has called upon all citizens to be cautious in countries where travel is currently permitted and to stay away from covid hotspots.
As of Friday, the health ministry reported 1,338 new Covid-19 cases and 16 covid related deaths.