Saudi Arabia has extended the ban on the entry of Umrah pilgrims and tourists hailing from Coronavirus hit countries including Pakistan till 31st March.
According to an official statement issued by the Kingdom,
Considering the ongoing situation following the global outbreak of Coronavirus, people seeking to perform Umrah or looking to visit the country on a tourist visa will not be allowed to enter the Kingdom till March 31st.
In this regard, the government has also directed Saudi Airlines to cancel the reservations of all Umrah and tourist visa passengers and compensate them.
Saudi Airlines will now refund the entire ticket amount to all passengers and no penalties will be applied.
Passengers are also advised not to make their way to the airports to embark on a journey to the Kingdom to avoid any inconvenience.
Besides Pakistan, the ban applies to countries like China, Japan, South Korea, France, Italy, and several others.
Only business, family visas and Iqama holders are allowed to enter Saudi Arabia during the ban under a single journey exception rule.
Towards the end of February, Saudi Arabia placed a temporary travel restriction on travelers from Coronavirus hit nations seeking to perform Umrah.
Following the temporary ban, PIA and other private airlines canceled Umrah tickets of numerous pilgrims. A PIA flight PK-747 heading to Jeddah was stopped before takeoff at Karachi airport as well.