Saudi Arabia threatens 3-year travel ban for citizens traveling to ‘Red List’ countries, including India

Saudi Arabia will impose a three-year travel ban on citizens traveling to the kingdom’s ‘Red List’ countries as part of efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus and its new edition, state news agency SPA said on Tuesday.

It cited an unnamed Interior Ministry official as saying that some Saudi nationals, who were allowed to travel abroad in May for the first time since March 2020 without prior permission from the authorities, had violated travel rules.

“Whoever is proven involved will be subject to legal liability and heavy penalties on their return, and a travel ban for three years,” the official said.

Saudi Arabia has banned travel or transit in several countries, including Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.

The official said, “The Interior Ministry emphasizes that citizens are still prohibited from traveling directly to or from any other country to these states or any other country which has not yet controlled the pandemic or where new Tensions have spread.”

The state, the largest Gulf state with a population of nearly 30 million, recorded 1,379 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, bringing the total to 520,774 cases and 8,189 deaths.

It saw daily infections fall below the 100 mark in early January from a peak of above 4,000 in June 2020.

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