Causeway rush as Saudi shuts borders with Bahrain to prevent spread of coronavirus

Saudi Arabia announced it was closing its land borders to travellers from Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE

  

Saudis in Bahrain were rushing to exit the country via King Fahad Causeway yesterday before it was closed temporarily as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

This came after Saudi Arabia announced it was closing its land borders to travellers from Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE.

It said only “commercial trucks” would be allowed to cross over via its land borders.

Those travelling from Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE can fly into King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and King Fahad International Airport in Dammam, according to a statement via Saudi Press Agency.

The kingdom’s Health Ministry said it would take all necessary precautions at the three airports while also applying the same measures for drivers and people accompanying them in trucks at the land borders.

The restrictions were enforced from 11.55pm last night.

Saudi Arabia also said asking anyone arriving in the kingdom on a new or current visa to carry with them valid proof they are free of infection from Covid-19 if they were travelling from high-risk countries.

The lab certificate should have been issued in the 24 hours before travel.

However, humanitarian cases will be exempted from the restrictions, according to a source at the Saudi Interior Ministry.

However, a Saudi man travelling between Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain said the new rules would affect families in the region.

“I had to drive my family to Saudi Arabia immediately after the news of the closure,” the 40-year-old engineer told the GDN.

“I work in Kuwait but I have a house in Bahrain and I constantly travel between the three countries.

“I took my wife and two sons back to Saudi Arabia after authorities announced the new restrictions.

“I travelled on one of my vehicles to Saudi Arabia but I will now need to find a way to get my vehicle in Kuwait back to Saudi.”

Several people said on social media that they had been turned back when they tried to enter Saudi through the causeway yesterday.

“I work in Saudi Arabia but I was denied entry yesterday,” said a 38-year-old.

“I come to Bahrain for the weekend but now I am not allowed back into Saudi Arabia.”

Another woman said her husband, a British national, who works in Saudi Arabia but lives in Bahrain, was also denied entry.

Meanwhile, a video circulating on social media showed three Bahrainis driving around in the streets of Kuwait after being stopped from returning.

noorz@gdn.com.bh

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