Corona Virus Update: Saudi Arabia temporarily suspends entry to Makkah and al-Madinah for pilgrims

Sara International Travel is actively monitoring the situation in Saudi Arabia and will present updates as quickly as possible. At this time, Hajj pilgrims should not be alarmed. These measures, though they may seem extreme, are preventative in order to ensure the complete safety of pilgrims in the coming months.

Saudi Arabia suspends entry to Makkah and al-Madinah for pilgrims.

USA, Canada, and UK citizens travelling on a tourist visa are not affected by this.

Here’s the full press release which was posted by the Saudi Press Agency:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the competent health authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are closely following the developments of the spread of the new the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Ministry affirms the keenness of the Kingdom’s government through those authorities to implement the approved international standards and support the efforts of countries and international organizations, especially the World Health Organization, to stop the spread of the virus, control it and eliminate it.

In completion of the efforts taken to provide the utmost protection to the safety of citizens and residents and everyone who intends to come to the territory of the Kingdom to perform Umrah or visit the Prophet’s Mosque or for the purpose of tourism, and based on the recommendations of the competent health authorities to apply the highest precautionary standards, and take proactive preventive measures to prevent the arrival of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) to the Kingdom and its spread, the Kingdom’s government has decided to take the following precautions:

1- Suspending entry to the Kingdom for the purpose of Umrah and visiting the Prophet’s Mosque temporarily.

2- Suspending entry into the Kingdom with tourist visas for those coming from countries in which the spread of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a danger, according to the criteria determined by the competent health authorities in the Kingdom.

3- Suspending the use by Saudi nationals and citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council states of the national identity card to travel to and from the Kingdom, except for Saudis who are abroad if their exit from the Kingdom is with the national identity card, and citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries currently inside the Kingdom, and wish to return from it to their countries, in case that their entry was with the national identity card, in order for the concerned authorities at the entry points to verify from which countries visitors came before their arrival to the kingdom, and apply health precautions to deal with those coming from those countries.

The Kingdom affirms that these procedures are temporary, and is subject to continuous evaluation by the competent authorities.

The Kingdom renews its support for all international measures taken to limit the spread of the virus.

The Foreign Ministry calls on citizens not to travel to countries where the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading.

02:10 LOCAL TIME 23:10 GMT

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