Saudi Arabia bans flights to India and 15 other countries

Saudi Arabia has made the announcement to ban travel to 16 countries amid rapid surge in the number of daily COVID cases in the past few weeks.
Saudi arabia
Saudi Arabia bans its citizens from travelling to 16 countries, including India. Image: Shutterstock/futuristman.

Following the recent increase in number of new COVID-19 cases, Saudi Arabia has announced a ban on international flights to 16 countries. Other than India, the list includes Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Indonesia, Vietnam, Armenia, Belarus, and Venezuela.

The Middle Eastern country has banned its citizens from travelling to abovementioned countries, however there are no further guidelines on whether Indian nationals will be barred from entering it. The travel ban comes at a time when the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has assured citizens that zero monkeypox cases have been detected in the country.

Saudi arabia
The beautiful skyline of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. Image: Shutterstock/adznano3.

Furthermore, the General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) confirmed that the validity of the passport of Saudi Arabian citizens who intend to travel to non-Arab countries must be more than six months. As per the guidelines, locals travelling outside of the kingdom must possess certification of receiving three doses of vaccination against coronavirus.

As per latest announcement by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India had recorded over 2,200 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours last Sunday (May 22). The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also warned the world to keep in mind that the pandemic is “most certainly not over”.

Even though a decline in reported cases has been noticed since the omicron wave, it is not yet gone. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general for WHO, said, “We lower our guard at our peril. Declining testing and sequencing means we are blinding ourselves to the evolution of the virus.”

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