Published on : Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Saudi Arabia as part of its restrictive measures to fight against the global outbreak of the deadly coronavirus, the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia has announced on Friday that it will be suspending visas to residents in seven countries, temporarily, according to the reported news agency WAM.
The heavily impacted countries are China, Italy, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Kazakhstan. The decision signifies both in terms of electronic visas obtained online as well as traditional visas issued once they arrive. Besides, tourist visas issued to the residents of the listed countries previously will be temporarily suspended.
Still, tourist visas will be available electronically or upon arrival to the citizens of other qualifying countries, however as a precaution measure, they will not be allowed to visit Makkah or Madinah.
People in countries that are not allowed to obtain electronic visas can check whether they can travel to the Kingdom by calling a helpline on 0096 692 000 0890. Residents of the US, the UK and Schengen nations can call the same number to check their statuses whether they can obtain a tourist visa.
The Ministry of Tourism explained that the ban were planned to safeguard citizens, residents and tourists, as per the recommendations from health authorities.
“These procedures are temporary and are subject to continuous evaluation by the competent authorities,” a spokesman for the ministry said.