The Saudi government has on Saturday announced to impose a temporary flight ban on Pakistan and India along with other 20 countries to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Saudi kingdom also implemented the ban on the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Indonesia whereas the Saudi Civil Aviation Authority General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) issued a notification imposing a temporary travel ban on European Union (EU) countries and Switzerland.
Saudi residents have been given 72 hours to return to KSA.
Furthermore, the ban also applies to passengers who have visited any of the prohibited countries in the 14 days prior to their arrival.
The kingdom has banned its citizens from travelling to these countries as well.
Previously, Canada, Oman, Kuwait and the UK have placed restrictions on flights from Pakistan and India.
Apart from Pakistan and India, the banned countries are: Argentina, the UAE, Germany, the US, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Brazil, Portugal, the UK, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Lebanon, Egypt, and Japan.
Earlier on April 23, the Canadian government has announced that it will ban passenger flights from India and Pakistan for the next 30 days.
All direct commercial and private passenger flights from India and Pakistan will be included in the ban, although cargo flights will still be permitted, media reports said.
Omar Alghabra, Canadian Minister of Transport, said, “We’ve been saying for over a year, now is not the time to travel.”
He added, “Border restrictions can change at any time, and you can be stuck in another country.”
However, Pakistan has asked Canada for reconsidering its decision of suspending all passenger flights from Islamabad for 30 days.
In a letter to Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra, Pakistan High Commissioner to Canada Raza Bashir Tarar drew attention to the fact that Pakistan, like all other countries, had been facing the pandemic but it had managed it well due to its strategy of smart lockdowns.
He assured the minister that Pakistan’s testing mechanism is very robust and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) only accepted results from the best laboratories and matched them with a barcode on every result sheet.