Saudi Arabia ends travel ban on 11 countries

Saudi Arabia ends travel ban on 11 countries
Saudi passengers arrive at King Khaled International airport in the capital Riyadh on May 17, 2021. (File/AFP)
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Updated 30 May 2021

Saudi Arabia ends travel ban on 11 countries

Saudi Arabia ends travel ban on 11 countries
  • The countries include the UAE, German, USA, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan and France

 

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has lifted travel restrictions on 11 key countries, originally imposed to curb the spread of a variant strain of coronavirus.

From 1 a.m. on Sunday, passengers from the UAE, Germany, the US, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the UK, Sweden, Switzerland, France and Japan may enter the Kingdom with the implementation of quarantine regulations.

According to the Saudi Public Health Authority (PHA), these countries have shown stability in containing COVID-19. However, 13 countries remain on the Interior Ministry’s no-go flight “red list.”

They are Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Belarus, and India. Citizens wishing to travel to these countries need prior permission.

The General Authority of Civil Aviation has issued instructions to all airlines operating in the Kingdom’s airports regarding the update of travel restrictions for travelers arriving in the Kingdom.

Non-Saudi travelers arriving in the Kingdom, the exempted travelers, immunized and unvaccinated groups must provide health certificates approved in the Kingdom (Coronavirus examination certificates PCR) not exceeding 72 hours from the flight time.

This applies to everyone aged 8 years and older, and travelers who meet the conditions of institutional quarantine for a period of seven days at one of the accommodation facilities approved by the Ministry of Tourism, provided that a swab carried out on the sixth day produces a negative result.

BACKGROUND

For months, travelers planning to return to Saudi Arabia found it difficult to do so because of the restrictions involved.

For months, travelers planning to return to Saudi Arabia found it difficult to do so because of the restrictions involved.

Many passengers in particular found themselves stranded in the UAE, a major flight hub, and the easing of restrictions brought a sigh of relief for many with families, even with the institutional quarantine requirements.

Nagham Hassan, 38, a Syrian expatriate resident in the Kingdom, has been in France since January last year and has not been able to return to Jeddah because of flight restrictions and lockdowns imposed in both countries.

“My parents moved to Saudi Arabia over 40 years ago and it’s always been home,” she told Arab News. “I got married just a few months before the pandemic started, and they were planning on a large family get-together for my French husband and me.

“The news came as a surprise and it’ll be great to get back home and see everyone again. The pandemic ruined a lot of things, but strengthened ties and it’s finally good to be heading back home soon.”

 


Saudi Arabia announces 6 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 6 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 25 September 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 6 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 6 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 535,892
  • A total of 8,694 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced six deaths from COVID-19 and 39 new infections on Saturday.

Of the new cases, 12 were recorded in Riyadh, 12 in Makkah, four in the Eastern Province, three in Madinah, two in Jazan, two in Najran, one in Asir, one in Tabuk, and one in Al-Jouf.

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 535,892 after 50 more patients recovered from the virus.

A total of 8,694 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.

Over 41.4 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Saudi air defense intercepts Houthi drones headed towards kingdom

Saudi air defense intercepts Houthi drones headed towards kingdom
Updated 25 September 2021

Saudi air defense intercepts Houthi drones headed towards kingdom

Saudi air defense intercepts Houthi drones headed towards kingdom

RIYADH: The Saudi air defenses intercept two bomb-laden drones that were launched by the Houthi militants in Yemen towards the kingdom on Saturday, the Arab Coalition said. 

The coalition said Houthis continue to deliberately attack civilians and civilian objects. 


Ithra launches cultural and heritage programs

Ithra launches cultural and heritage programs
Updated 25 September 2021

Ithra launches cultural and heritage programs

Ithra launches cultural and heritage programs

DHAHRAN: In celebration of the 91st Saudi National Day, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture has launched programs and activities to highlight diversity across the Kingdom.

Ithra will engage visitors through a cultural journey that embodies the unity of the Saudi people and their interdependence, from north to south and from east to west, through the Tafaseel exhibition.

The exhibition will express the diversity of fashion as part of Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage across regions, as well as telling stories about the civilizations that inhabited them.

The national day activities aim to present a collection of interactive art, performances, traditional local crafts, cultural activities, workshops, and knowledge-based games for all age groups.

The activities continue until Saturday.

 


Two Holy Mosques management trains 600 female employees

Two Holy Mosques management trains 600 female employees
Updated 25 September 2021

Two Holy Mosques management trains 600 female employees

Two Holy Mosques management trains 600 female employees

MAKKAH: The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques announced on Friday that it has so far trained around 600 female employees of its agencies or assisting agencies.

The Women’s Development Affairs Agency, led by Al-Anoud Al-Aboud, deputy president for women’s development affairs, employs 310 of those women.

Around 200 women work for the Agency for Women’s Scientific, Intellectual and Guidance Affairs, led by Noura Al-Thuwaibi.

The rest of the trained women work at the Agency for Women’s Administrative and Service Affairs, under the leadership of Kamelia Al-Daadi, the general presidency said in a statement.

 

 


Saudi Arabia joins global community to celebrate World Sign Day

Saudi Arabia joins global community to celebrate World Sign Day
Updated 25 September 2021

Saudi Arabia joins global community to celebrate World Sign Day

Saudi Arabia joins global community to celebrate World Sign Day

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia joined the international community by participating in World Sign Day, celebrated on Sept. 23.

The Ministry of Health implemented the “We Are with You” initiative to support deaf people, raising staff awareness about the deaf community. The MOH trained its staff to work with individuals who are deaf, teaching them sign language rules and basics, and helping them find ways to support deaf patients overcome challenges.

Sign language includes 35 manual symbols, each representing a letter of the alphabet, and five other symbols representing diacritics.

The Arabic language also includes numbers in its sign language system; Arabic sign language includes 53 manual symbols representing number, in single or multiple digits.

The MOH also launched the Awlawiya (Priority) Card, one of the Patient Experience Center’s initiatives to facilitate and accelerate procedures and services provided to some groups (including the deaf) inside health facilities.

 

 

Other electronic services include the Queries on Treatment Abroad Orders Service and the Mawid (Appointment) Service.

Moreover, it launched the Online Registration initiative for people with disabilities, including the deaf, through its E-Health system. The platform enables MOH officials to follow up on registration and classification electronically, as well as oversee the issuance of Transportation Discount Cards and Traffic Facilitation Cards.

The MOH linked the E-Health platform with other authorities, such as the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development and the Ministry of Education, by automating all procedures to ensure speed and uniformity of service provision. Furthermore, the ministry launched the Eshara app, which provides direct services to the deaf and hearing-impaired, and which allows them to benefit from the services offered by the 937 Service Center.

The app allows visual communication between deaf people and the remote sign interpretation communication center; the interpreter translates the signs as a third party through the digital platform by converting the sign language to spoken Arabic (and vice versa), serving as a mediator between the employee and the deaf person.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development launched a series of training programs about sign language basics in its branches in the Kingdom, trained its members and employees in all sectors to understand sign language, and raised their awareness on how to communicate with deaf people to ensure access of all services with ease.

Decoder

'We Are with You' campaign

It is the Saudi Ministry of Health initiative to support deaf people, raising staff awareness about the deaf community, teaching them sign language rules and basics, and helping them find ways to support deaf patients overcome challenges.