Saudi Arabia temporarily bans entry for pilgrimage

Al-Arabiya English’ reported that United Arab Emirates based travel agents refused to issue flight tickets to Saudi Arabia to anyone who isn’t a Saudi national. Reuters also reported Emirates Airline restricted boarding on flights to Saudi Arabia in compliance with the Kingdom’s Foreign Affairs Ministry

The authorities of Saudi Arabia in connection with the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 decided to temporarily suspend entry into the country for the purpose of pilgrimage to Mecca and visiting the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.  The corresponding statement was published on the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry page on Twitter.

 “Entering the kingdom for the purpose of umrah (small pilgrimage) and visiting the Prophet’s Mosque is temporarily suspended,” the report said.

 Saudi Arabia also suspends the entry of tourist visas “for those who come from countries where the spread of the new coronavirus is dangerous.”

 Earlier Thursday it was reported that the number of victims of the new coronavirus COVID-19 in China amounted to 2744 people, more than 32.4 thousand recovered, the number of people infected since the outbreak of pneumonia exceeded 78.4 thousand.

The outbreak of coronavirus COVID-2019 was recorded in Chinese Wuhan at the end of December 2019.  The virus is the causative agent of severe pneumonia.  The infection quickly spread to other countries.  At the moment, except for China, the situation is most acute in Italy, South Korea and Iran.

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