Saudi Arabia international flights to resume fully next year

Published: 14 September 2020 - 9:45 a.m.
By: Josh Corder
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced it will not completely lift its air travel restrictions until January 2021.

That is according to the interior ministry, which said an exact date would be announced in December. However, the ministry added that Gulf citizens and non-Saudis with valid residency permits will be allowed to enter the country from September 15 provided they are not infected with the coronavirus.

"Completely lifting the restrictions on citizens leaving and returning to the Kingdom, and allowing the opening of ports for the crossing of all means of transport through land, sea and air ports, after January 1, 2021, while adhering to the current coronavirus precautionary procedures," SPA reported.

"The specific date and time for lifting the suspension will be announced 30 days prior to January 1, 2021. The Ministry of Health may, should it be required, request to put in place certain preventative health requirements for travellers and carriers during travel, and in the halls of airports, ports, and stations," SPA added.

Though not as wide-scale as Dubai’s international tourism resumption in July, Saudi opening its doors to those outside the Kingdom with a valid permit could still see hotels’ occupancy rates inch up. So far, KSA has been depending on a range of domestic tourism campaigns to support hotels and tourism establishments.

The ministry further elaborated that plans to allow the umrah pilgrimage again will be announced soon. Saudi’s immense religious tourism market was hit this year as the annual hajj was also scaled back, with just 10,000 people taking part.

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