Amid increasing coronavirus fears, Saudi Arabia on Thursday temporarily suspended entry for individuals planning to visit the country for the purposes of Umrah or for visiting Prophet’s mosque in Madina.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a tweet: “Entry to the country for the purpose of Umrah (pilgrimage) and/or visiting the Prophet’s mosque in Madina is temporarily suspended. #CoronaVirus.”
The statement posted by the country’s foreign ministry on its Twitter handle said that Saudi Arabia is “suspending entry into the kingdom with tourist visas for those coming from countries in which the new coronavirus (COVID-19) is a danger, according to the criteria determined by the competent health authorities in the Kingdom”.
The statement further mentioned that the country is suspending the use of national identity cards by Saudi nationals and citizens of the Gulf to travel to and from the kingdom, “except for Saudis who are abroad if their exit from the kingdom is with the national identity card, and citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries currently inside the Kingdom, and wish to return from it to their countries, in case that their entry was with the national identity card”.
The statement further said that the Kingdom affirms that these procedures are temporary and are “subject to continuous evaluation by the competent authority.”