Saudi to ease international flight restrictions Tuesday
Saudi Arabia will partially lift its suspension of international flights from September 15.
AFP, File
Saudi to ease international flight restrictions Tuesday
(Agence France-Presse) - September 14, 2020 - 7:59am

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia will partially lift its suspension on international flights from Tuesday, the interior ministry said, six months after travel curbs were imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The kingdom will end all restrictions on air, land and sea transport for Saudi citizens "after January 1" next year, the ministry added on Sunday, adding that an exact date will be announced in December.

Gulf citizens and non-Saudis with valid residency permits or visas will be allowed to enter the kingdom from Tuesday as long as they are not infected with the virus, the ministry said in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency.

People in other "exceptional categories", including Saudi government and military employees, embassy workers, students and people requiring medical treatment, will also be allowed to enter and exit the kingdom from Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia had suspended international flights in March, leaving many citizens and residents stranded overseas.

The ministry added that Saudi Arabia will later announce a plan to gradually allow the umrah pilgrimage.

Saudi Arabia suspended the year-round umrah in March over fears of the coronavirus pandemic spreading to Islam's holiest cities.

The kingdom also organised a scaled-down hajj in late July, with only up to 10,000 Muslims taking part in the annual pilgrimage, a far cry from the 2.5 million who participated last year.

The kingdom has sought to contain a spike in infections, which have now risen to more than 325,000 cases -- the highest in the Gulf -- and over 4,200 deaths.

But Saudi Arabia has also reported a high rate of recoveries, which surpassed 302,000 on Sunday.

In June, the kingdom moved to end a coronavirus curfew across the kingdom and lift restrictions on businesses, including cinemas and other entertainment venues.

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Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

November 27, 2020 - 4:12pm

The Department of Health reports 1,631 additional coronavirus cases. This brings the nationall tally to  425,918.

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An official says Germany's coronavirus infections pass one million.

November 26, 2020 - 5:37pm

Russia on Thursday registered record numbers for daily infections and deaths from the coronavirus for the second time in less than a week. 

Health officials reported 25,487 new infections, bringing the national total to 2,187,990 cases since the beginning of the pandemic — the fifth-highest caseload in the world.

Health authorities also reported 524 deaths, raising Russia's total fatalities from COVID-19 to 38,062. — AFP

November 26, 2020 - 2:14pm

South Korea reported its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since March on Thursday, with a surge of new infections sparking fears of a major third wave.

Officials announced 583 new cases after several weeks of fresh infections ranging between around 100 and 300.

The latest cases have mostly been clusters at offices, schools, gyms and small gatherings in the greater Seoul area, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.

New infections also emerged within the military, including dozens of newly enlisted soldiers at a boot camp — prompting the defense ministry to bolster its virus measures. — AFP

November 26, 2020 - 1:29pm

South Korea reported its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since March on Thursday, with a surge of new infections sparking fears of a major third wave.

Officials announced 583 new cases after several weeks of fresh infections ranging between around 100 and 300.

The latest cases have mostly been clusters at offices, schools, gyms and small gatherings in the greater Seoul area, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said. — AFP

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