Saudi Arabia bans international flights from 20 countries, including India
- Saudi Arabia had been ramping up domestic measures to contain the surge of coronavirus cases. Saudi health minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah has been urging people to be on their guard, not become complacent, and adhere strictly to Covid-19 preventative measures.
Saudi Arabia has banned international flights from 20 countries, including India, in an effort to curb the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country. The new curb is effective from Wednesday. The country’s interior ministry announced that the "temporary suspension" would be effective from local time 9pm (1800 GMT) on Wednesday, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.
People who have a history of travel to any of the 20 countries 14 days prior to their travel to Saudi Arabia are not allowed to enter the country, said news agency ANI quoting sources.
The list of banned countries includes India, the US, Egypt, Pakistan, Argentina, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, France, Italy, Portugal, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Lebanon, UAE, and Turkey.
However, there are some exceptions. Saudi citizens, diplomats, and health workers coming from these countries will be allowed to enter the kingdom "in accordance with the precautionary measures". Indian cargo flights operating with clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) do not fall under the purview of the ban either.
Saudi Arabia had been ramping up domestic measures to contain the surge of coronavirus cases. Saudi health minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah has been urging people to be on their guard, not become complacent, and adhere strictly to Covid-19 preventative measures.
"Lack of compliance will force us to take measures to protect society," he said in televised remarks. "I ask you to help us preserve the gains we made in combating coronavirus ... This is a very difficult stage," the minister said, as quoted by Reuters.
As of Wednesday, the Gulf nation has reported a total of 368,639 cases of coronavirus, and 6,383 deaths. In the last 24 hours, Saudi recorded 310 more cases and 4 fatalities. The Kingdom has also rolled out an ambitious vaccination plan.