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25 Jun 2020 | 05:45 PM UTC

Saudi Arabia: Foreign residents to remain banned from returning until end of COVID-19 crisis June 24 /update 40

Saudi Arabia News Alert

Foreign residents to remain banned from returning until end of COVID-19 crisis, authorities announce on June 24; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/25/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/15/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Riyadh). COUNTRY/REGION Saudi Arabia

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On Wednesday, June 24, Saudi officials announced that expatriate residents currently abroad would not be permitted to return to the country until the end of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis. The announcement came following the lifting of the nationwide curfew on Sunday, June 21. The government has also permitted the resumption of economic and commercial activity. Citizens are urged to continue to practice social distancing and to wear masks in public.

International flights to and from the country remain suspended until further notice, with arrivals for pilgrims also postponed. However, domestic flights from airports in Bisha, Taif, Yanbu, Hafr al-Batin, and Sharourah have been operating since the end of May. Flight destinations include Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Al-Madina, Abha, Tabuk, Jizan, Hail, Al Baha, and Najran. The annual Hajj pilgrimage has also been scaled back, with Saudi authorities only permitting 1000 pilgrims residing in the country to participate.

As of Thursday, June 25 authorities have confirmed 167,267 cases of COVID-19 and 1387 associated deaths in Saudi Arabia. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.


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.


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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