Emirates Image Credit: File photo

Dubai: Emirates airline said it would no longer carry to Saudi Arabia passengers with Umrah pilgrimage visas or tourists from nearly two dozen countries until further notice, in compliance with a Saudi government directive to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Holders of Saudi tourist visas travelling from China, Japan, Italy, Iran, India, Pakistan and a number of other countries will be barred from boarding Emirates flights with Saudi Arabia as the final destination, the airline said on its website.

The ban took effect on Thursday (February 27) itself.

Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended on Thursday Feb 27, entry to the kingdom for the purpose of Umrah and visiting the Prophet’s Mosque in response to the global coronavirus outbreak.

The Saudi Press Agency has reported that entry has also been suspended for those coming from countries in which the spread of the virus is a danger, based on health authority criteria.

Saudi nationals and GCC citizens are also temporarily suspended from using national identity cards to travel to and from the kingdom