Saudi Arabia To Impose 3-Year Travel Ban For Citizens Visiting ‘Red List’ Countries


London: In a view to contain the spread of virus in Saudi Arabia, a country known for proposing stricter rules, it will be imposing a three year travel ban for citizens if they are found visiting countries on the kingdom’s ’red list’, according to state news agency SPA.

The news agency quoted sources from the interior ministry saying some Saudi citizens, who in May were allowed to travel abroad without prior permission from authorities for the first time since March 2020, had violated travel regulations.

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”Anyone who is proven to be involved will be subject to legal accountability and heavy penalties upon their return, and will be banned from travel for three years,” the official said.

Saudi Arabia has already banned travel to or transit to a number of countries including Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.

“The Ministry of Interior stresses that citizens are still banned from travelling directly or via another country to these states or any other that has yet to control the pandemic or where the new strains have spread,” said the official.

With a population of 30 million, the gulf nation on Tuesday recorded 1,379 new Covid-19 infections, taking its total count to 520,774 cases and 8,189 deaths. The daily infections came down from the highest level above 4,000 in June 2020 to below the 100 mark in early January.

Meanwhile, people in Saudi Arabia will need to provide proof on a mobile app showing they have received at least one vaccine dose to enter public and private institutions from Sunday onwards. The vaccine mandate includes visiting schools, shops, malls, markets, restaurants, cafes, concert venues and public transportation. From August 9, Saudi citizens will need two doses to travel abroad.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, the directive in the gulf nation comes after the US and other countries look at imposing vaccine mandates as cases around the world rises significantly.

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