Saudi Arabia scraps all coronavirus related restrictions

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Saudi Arabia has lifted almost all coronavirus-related restrictions in the Kingdom after witnessing a declining COVID-19 trend, a report published by Saudi Gazette said.

Saudi Arabia will no longer require the passen-gers arriving in the Kingdom to show a negative PCR test report or quarantine themselves upon arrival.

Instead of fulfilling these two requirements, the foreigners travelling on visit visas would have to acquire insurance that covers the entire coronavirus treatment costs.

Moreover, the outdoor mask-wearing and social distancing protocols have also been abolished, an official source at the Saudi interior ministry an-nounced.

Worshippers will no longer be required to main-tain social distancing in the mosques, including the Two Holy Mosques but to wear masks, which is mandatory only indoors within the Kingdom.

The said decisions came into force on March 5, Saturday. Meanwhile, the Saudi Authorities also lifted the suspension of direct flights and arrival to the Kingdom from the following countries: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia, Madagascar, Angola, Seychelles, United Republic of Comoros, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Afghanistan.

Earlier, Pakistan achieved another milestone in the fight against coronavirus by vaccinating over two million people in a day, Saudi Arabia has eased travel restrictions for the pilgrims from Pakistan intending to perform Umrah by revising the Covid-19 guidelines.

The development coincided with the national positivity rate dropping to 5.34 per cent across the country, where less than 3,000 cases were reported in a day after a one-month hiatus. According to the fresh guidelines for pilgrims from Pakistan intending to perform Umrah, at the time of departure the travellers will be required to submit only a negative PCR test report that should not be more than 48 hours old.

The new directives will apply with effect from Feb 16 to all people intending to perform Umrah regardless of their vaccination or immunity status, Radio Pakistan reported. —APP

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