Saudi Arabia to ease COVID-19 international travel restrictions on Tuesday

A Saudi passenger at terminal 5 in the King Fahad International Airport earlier this year. Saudis will be able to travel in and out of the country from Jan. 1. (AFP/File)
Short Url
Updated 14 September 2020

Saudi Arabia to ease COVID-19 international travel restrictions on Tuesday

  • Many people will be able to fly immediately, with complete removal of travel restrictions expected early next year
  • There will be a gradual move toward lifting the Umrah pilgrimage suspension

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will partially lift the suspension of international flights from Sept. 15, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday, six months after travel restrictions were imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Kingdom will end all restrictions on air, land and sea transport “after Jan. 1” next year, the ministry said, on a specific date to be announced in December.
Meanwhile Gulf state citizens and non-Saudis with “iqama” residency permits or visit visas may enter the Kingdom from Sept. 15 provided they have tested negative for the coronavirus in the previous 48 hours.
Other “exceptional categories,” such as government and military employees, foreign embassy workers and people requiring medical treatment, will also be allowed entry and exit from Sept. 15.

Young Saudis studying abroad can breathe a sigh of relief, as the exceptions also cover scholarship students, self-sponsored students, trainees in medical fellowship programs whose studies or training require travel to other countries.

“After receiving my acceptance letter from a university in Holland while under lockdown to continue my studiesfor my PhD, I kept my hopes up and waited for the announcement to come,” said Jawaher Abdulattif, fromJeddah. “The news is a surprise, to say the least, but a good one. I can finally begin arranging for my flight and begin my studies properly."

Families separated by the lockdown may also travel to join their loved ones outside the Kingdom as authorities have included them in humanitarian cases.

Saudis with proof of residency outside the Kingdom may also travel, and there will be a gradual move toward lifting the Umrah pilgrimage suspension.


Hi-tech warehouse opens in Saudi Arabia to serve health sector

Updated 51 min 16 sec ago

Hi-tech warehouse opens in Saudi Arabia to serve health sector

JEDDAH: The Public Investment Fund’s National Unified Procurement Co. (NUPCO) has opened a new automated warehouse in King Abdullah Economic City that provides comprehensive distribution and storage for the state health sector.
This is part of NUPCO’s efforts to support the health sector and provide smart supply chains and high-quality logistical services in a partnership agreement with a pioneering private company.
The warehouse is one of NUPCO’s largest warehouses in the Kingdom, with an area covering 300,000 square meters. It is fully automated, with the latest technologies and advanced logistical services.
Fahd bin Mohammed Al-Shebel, the CEO of NUPCO, said that the warehouse represented the strategic partnership between NUPCO and private sector companies for public health facilities at its best.
It will provide advanced medical services and contribute to the health of the Saudi community.
He noted that after the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic NUPCO equipped the warehouse in record time to increase the level of support for health facilities.