Travellers arriving from the aforementioned 11 countries may have to go into institutional quarantine, starting from Sunday 1 AM, authorities said. As cited by the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the source revealed that the move comes as Public Health Authority (PHA) reported stability and effectiveness in controlling the pandemic in some of these countries.
Meanwhile, PHA noted that 13 countries are still in the red list, to which citizens are to take prior permission before heading to these countries. Countries recorded in the no-travel list include India, Turkey, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Armenia, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, and Belarus.
On February 3, the Saudi government suspended flights temporarily to 20 countries including United Arab Emirates, India, Pakistan, United States, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Egypt, Turkey, Brazil, Portugal, United Kingdom, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Lebanon, Argentina and Japan. However, the directive had exempted Saudi nationals, diplomats and health workers from the ban.
The Interior Ministry also extended the reopening of its borders from March 31 to May 17, after which the kingdom also lifted overseas travel restrictions for Saudi citizens.