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13 Sep 2020 | 07:31 PM UTC

Saudi Arabia: Authorities to lift some international flight restrictions from September 15 /update 47

Saudi Arabia News Alert

Authorities set to lift some international flight restrictions from September 15; confirm travel itineraries

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/13/2020, 12:00 AM until 10/1/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Riyadh). COUNTRY/REGION Saudi Arabia

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Saudi authorities announced on Sunday, September 13, that some international flight restrictions will be lifted from Tuesday, September 15, allowing citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council countries and those with permanent residency permits or visas to enter the country. In addition to allowing the return of citizens and permanent residents via the country's airports, authorities have also announced that travelers who fall into 'exceptional categories' will be permitted to enter the country from September 15, including public sector and military employees, diplomats and their families, patients requiring medical treatment abroad, those studying abroad, individuals working in public or non-profit sector jobs abroad and, sports teams.

The Saudi government originally suspended international flights in March in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic but has been easing some travel restrictions in recent weeks. Authorities have announced that all air, land, and sea travel restrictions will be lifted on January 1, 2021.

As of Sunday, September 13, authorities in Saudi Arabia have reported 325,651 COVID-19 cases, with 4268 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

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

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.


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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