Saudi Arabia suspends international flights starting Sunday to prevent spread of coronavirus

International flights from Saudi airports will be halted for two weeks. (SPA)
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Updated 14 March 2020

Saudi Arabia suspends international flights starting Sunday to prevent spread of coronavirus

  • Saudi Arabia's total COVID-19 infections rose to 103 on Saturday
  • Some flights to be allowed in "exceptional cases" during the two-week period

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will suspend international flights for two weeks from Sunday to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Interior announced on Saturday.

On Saturday, 17 new cases of COVID-19 infections were reported in the Kingdom, raising the total to 103 from the 86 on Friday.

The suspension will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, the ministry said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency. 

Some flights would only be allowed in "exceptional cases" during the two-week period, the ministry said.

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For residents who cannot come back during this period, it will be considered as an official holiday.

Necessary arrangements will be made regarding health procedures such as examination and isolation according to the preventive measures approved for all arrivals.

The Ministry of Health, in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, the Civil Aviation Authority and other relevant parties, will arrange for the arrival of citizens who wish to return, and the relevant procedures will be soon announced, the statement added.

Earlier this week, the entire European Union and 12 other countries in Asia and Africa were added to a list of countries in which travel to and from the Kingdom is suspended.  

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Sports announced the suspension of all sporting activities and competitions in the Kingdom on Saturday.

A statement issued by the ministry said that private sport centres and gyms would also close as of Sunday.


Saudi Arabia's foreign minister and Greek counterpart discuss bilateral ties

Updated 19 min 48 sec ago

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister and Greek counterpart discuss bilateral ties

  • They discussed bilateral relations and regional and international developments

RYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call on Tuesday from his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias.
During the call, the two ministers discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations and enhance frameworks for coordination on issues of common interest, in addition to reviewing regional and international developments and means of tackling them.
Prince Faisal bin Farhan later on Tuesday met Russia’s Ambassador to the Kingdom, Sergey Kozlov, at his office in the ministry in Riyadh.
During the meeting, they reviewed the efforts of the G20 countries, which Saudi Arabia holds the presidency of this year and is set to host the 15th summit in Riyadh on Nov. 21-22.
They also discussed strategic relations between the two countries and ways to enhance joint cooperation in a number of fields, in addition to regional and international developments and issues of common interest.