Saudi Arabia extends entry ban amid coronavirus variant fears

Published December 28, 2020
Travellers wearing protective face masks walk at Riyadh International Airport, after Saudi Arabia reopened domestic flights, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 31, 2020. — Reuters/File
Travellers wearing protective face masks walk at Riyadh International Airport, after Saudi Arabia reopened domestic flights, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 31, 2020. — Reuters/File

Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry on Monday extended a ban on entry to the kingdom by air, land and sea for another week amid concerns over a fast-spreading variant of the new coronavirus, the state news agency SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia shut its borders on Monday Dec 21 and suspended international commercial flights on a rolling weekly basis although foreign flights already in the country were allowed to leave.

The ministry said it is evaluating the situation while allowing non-citizens to leave the kingdom and allowing entry for exceptional cases, SPA reported.

The measures do not affect the movement of goods.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had also halted all its flights scheduled to Saudi Arabia since Dec 21. PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan had said all affected passengers would be accommodated at the earliest upon flight restoration.

PIA is resuming commercial flights to Saudi Arabia on Monday (today) to bring back stranded Pakistanis after Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation allowed non-Saudis to leave the kingdom and permitted foreign airlines to operate flights for the purpose.

Opinion

Editorial

Budget and politics
Updated 14 Jun, 2024

Budget and politics

PML-N, scared of taking bold steps lest it loses whatever little public support it has, has left its traditional support — traders — virtually untouched.
New talks?
14 Jun, 2024

New talks?

WILL this prove another false start, or may we expect a more sincere effort this time? Reference is made to the...
A non-starter
14 Jun, 2024

A non-starter

WHILE the UN Security Council had earlier this week adopted a US-backed resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza...
Budget for stabilisation
Updated 13 Jun, 2024

Budget for stabilisation

The proposed steps lack any “disruptive policy changes", especially to "right-size" the govt, and doubts remain on authorities' ability to enforce new measures.
State of the economy
13 Jun, 2024

State of the economy

THE current fiscal year is but another year lost. Going by the new Pakistan Economic Survey, which maps the state of...
Unyielding onslaught
Updated 13 Jun, 2024

Unyielding onslaught

SEVEN soldiers paid the ultimate price in Lakki Marwat on Sunday when their vehicle was blown up in an IED attack,...