Saudi Arabia ban entry from 20 countries including Pakistan

Saudi Arabia ban entry from 20 countries including Pakistan

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday suspended entry to the kingdom from 20 countries, including Pakistan.

The interior ministry announced the “temporary suspension” would be effective from 9:00 pm (1800 GMT) on Wednesday, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

The ban applies to neighbouring Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and in the wider region, to Lebanon and Turkey.

In Europe, the ban includes Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland. Elsewhere, as well as the US, it applies to Argentina, Brazil, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Japan and South Africa.

The entry of Saudi nationals, diplomats and health practitioners along with their families coming from any of the mentioned countries, or passed through within (14) days, is permissible but they have to follow the precautionary measures and [standard operating procedures] adopted by the Saudi Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) said on Wednesday that Saudi authorities had once again banned arrival of passengers from Pakistan from 9pm on Feb 3, in the wake of a new wave of coronavirus.

However, the PIA would continue flights to bring back passengers from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, the spokesman said.

Saudi Arabia has reported more than 368,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 6,400 deaths, the highest among Gulf Arab states.

Saudi Arabia launched its coronavirus vaccination campaign on Dec 17 after receiving the first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.