Saudi Arabia Bans Entries From 20 Countries Including Pakistan

The Saudi Arabian authorities have suspended the entry of people from 20 countries including Pakistan in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus, effective today.

The ban is the second within six weeks and comes days after Riyadh pushed back plans for completely reopening its borders to mid-May.

According to the state-owned Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the ban applies to non-Saudis from Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, and the US.


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Citing sources from the Interior Ministry, the agency said the ban, which is temporary, will be implemented on 3 February, but gave no indication of its duration.

A letter by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard mentioned that only the entry of Saudi nationals, diplomats, health practitioners, and their families coming in from any of the mentioned countries, or if they have passed through within (14) days, is permissible under the strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) adopted by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health.


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A spokesperson for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has confirmed that all its flights to the kingdom scheduled for Wednesday have been postponed in the wake of its second ban on arrivals from Pakistan.

However, the national flag carrier will continue flights to bring Pakistani nationals stranded in Saudi Arabia back to Pakistan.

The second wave of the coronavirus is wreaking havoc in the country with 310 new cases recorded by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday, bringing the country’s cumulative total to more than 368,000. So far, over 6,000 people have died from the virus in Saudi Arabia.