Saudi Arabia halts entry for Umrah in Mecca, tourism from coronavirus hit States

Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended the entry of people seeking to make the Umrah pilgrimage in Mecca or visiting the Prophet’s Mosque in Madina, as well as tourists traveling from countries where the coronavirus poses a risk, as determined by Kingdom health authorities.

The new precautions are “based on the recommendations of the competent health authorities to apply the highest precautionary standards and to take proactive preventive measures to prevent the emergence of coronavirus in the Kingdom and its spread,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. Twitter.

These measures take place at a time when there has been a sharp increase in the number of reported cases in the Middle East, where the majority of infected individuals had traveled from Iran, with a death toll at 19, the highest outside China.

This led several countries to suspend flights and most of their neighbors to close their borders. Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates reported cases of coronaviruses that recently traveled to Iran.

Exceptions to the Ban:

Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah confirmed on Wednesday that there were no cases of coronavirus detected in the Kingdom so far.Saudi Arabia is also suspending the use of the national identity card by Saudi citizens and citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to travel to and from the Kingdom.

However, there are exceptions Saudis who are abroad and wish to return home if their departure from the Kingdom was with the national identity card and citizens of the GCC countries currently within the Kingdom who wish to return to their countries if their entry was with the national identity card.

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