News Alerts

15 Jun 2020 | 01:54 PM UTC

Saudi Arabia: All international flight operations suspended indefinitely June 15 /update 38

Saudi Arabia News Alert

Saudi authorities announce the suspension of all international flights indefinitely June 15; reconfirm travel itineraries

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/15/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/15/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Riyadh). COUNTRY/REGION Saudi Arabia

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Event

Saudi authorities announced on Monday, June 15, that all international flight operations to and from the country will remain suspended until further notice in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announced that airports in Bisha, Taif, Yanbu, Hafr al-Batin, and Sharourah have been allowed to reopen for domestic flights from May 31.

As of Monday, June 15, health authorities have confirmed 127,541 COVID-19 cases and 972 associated deaths in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled the outbreak as a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone non-essential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

 

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