Saudi Arabia to allow foreigners to leave kingdom, reports

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Suspension of international flights and border closure extended for further week

Saudi Arabia’s aviation authority has allowed airlines to resume flights to transport foreigners out of the kingdom, state television reported.

The decision excludes countries dealing with the new variant of Covid-19 and crew members of flights landing in the kingdom are not allowed to leave their planes, according to the report.

Saudi Arabia also extended the suspension on international flights and the closure of its border crossing for another week over concern about the new coronavirus strain, state-run Saudi Press Agency reported separately. Flights for foreigners who want to leave the country and cargo were excluded from the move, according to the report.

It said: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s government decided to extend the aforementioned measures for another week, to continue assessing the situation, and to ensure safety of citizens and expatriates, with an emphasis on excluding the movement of goods, commodities and supply chains, as well as allowing the departure of non-Saudis through flights, according to the precautionary measures adopted by the Ministry of Health.”

Saudi Arabia suspended all international flights a week ago, citing a lack of information on the new strain, SPA reported then. The move followed a decision in the UK to impose a lockdown in London and southeast England to control the fast-spreading strain of the coronavirus at the time.

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