Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior announced on Sunday (September 13) that it will partially lift its suspension on international flights starting September 15.
The Kingdom has placed travel restrictions on all its borders and points of entry during the last six months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Saudi Gov’t to Ease Flight Restrictions Starting September 15
The ministry added that all restrictions on land, air, and sea, will end after January 1 next year, without specifying any date, the Khaleej Times reported.
In line with this, Gulf citizens and non-Saudis with valid residency permits or visas will be allowed to enter the kingdom from September 15 onwards as long as they have tested negative for the virus.
Meanwhile, other “exceptional categories”, which include government and military employees, foreign embassy workers, and people requiring medical treatment, will also be allowed from September 15.
The ministry also noted that the Kingdom will later announce a plan to gradually allow the Umrah pilgrimage.
It can be recalled that Saudi has suspended the Umrah earlier this year over fears of the coronavirus pandemic.
Then in late July, the kingdom has also called for the scaled-down Haj, with only up to 10,000 Muslims taking part in the annual pilgrimage.
Starting March, Saudi has suspended all international flights leaving many citizens and residents stranded overseas.
Since then, the kingdom has imposed stricter measures to contain a major spike in infections, which have now risen to more than 325,000 cases – the highest in the Gulf – and over 4,200 deaths.
In June, the kingdom has ended the coronavirus curfew across the kingdom and lift restrictions on businesses, including cinemas and other entertainment venues.