Saudi authorities ready to receive travelers as travel ban ends

Saudia airlines says it completed preparations to operate flights to 71 destinations from 95 airports

  
A Saudi woman wearing a facemask walks with her luggage as she arrives at the King Khalid International Airport, after Saudi authorities lift the travel ban on its citizens after fourteen months due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 16, 2021.

A Saudi woman wearing a facemask walks with her luggage as she arrives at the King Khalid International Airport, after Saudi authorities lift the travel ban on its citizens after fourteen months due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 16, 2021.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s passport authority on Sunday said it was ready to operate international flights at full capacity at the Kingdom’s land border crossings, sea and air ports, as a travel ban is set to end on Monday.

The Ministry of Interior announced that citizens would be permitted to travel and all ports would reopen as of 1 a.m.

The General Directorate of Passports said those wishing to travel outside the Kingdom are required to follow the instructions issued by the interior ministry depending on what category they fall into.

The categories include those who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, those who received one dose at least two weeks prior to travel, those recovering from the virus within six months from the date of travel, and citizens under 18-years-old provided they present a travel insurance policy approved by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), covering the risks of COVID-19 outside the Kingdom before travel.

Saudi Arabian Airlines said it has completed preparations to operate flights to 71 destinations from 95 airports, including 28 domestic and 43 international destinations.

The airline said since the beginning of the pandemic, it has operated more than 100,000 flights and transported more than 10 million passengers.

Its fleet is regularly sterilized using UVC disinfection systems and all crew have been vaccinated.

The General Authority of Civil Aviation said that around 385 flights are expected to operate throughout the Kingdom’s airports on Monday.

Meanwhile, the interior ministry said travel to a number of countries, directly or via another country, is still banned without prior permission.

In January, the ministry banned travel to Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Belarus, and India were the outbreak is till not under control or were the mutated strain is being spread.

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