Saudi Arabia considers to impose a 3-year travel ban for citizens travelling to ‘red list countries’

Saudi Arabia considers to impose a 3-year travel ban for citizens travelling to 'red list countries'

Saudi Arabia considers to impose a 3-year travel ban for citizens travelling to ‘red list countries’

Saudi Arabia will impose a three-year travel ban on citizens travelling to countries on the kingdom’s ‘red list’ under efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus and its new variants, state news agency said. It cited an unnamed interior ministry official as 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.

Saudi Arabia has banned travel to or transit at 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,” an official said.

The kingdom, the largest Gulf state with a population of some 30 million, on Tuesday recorded 1,379 new COVID-19 infections, bringing its total to 520,774 cases and 8,189 deaths.

Saudi Arabia is set to impose one of the world’s most sweeping vaccine mandates in an attempt to combat hesitancy toward the Covid-19 shots in the kingdom, as governments globally try to confront a new surge in cases of the Delta variant.

People in Saudi Arabia will need to show proof on a mobile app that they have received at least one vaccine dose to enter public and private institutions beginning Sunday, including schools, shops, malls, markets, restaurants, cafes, concert venues and public transportation. From Aug. 9, Saudi citizens will need two doses to travel abroad.