A boy wears a protective face mask, as he rides a bicycle, after Saudi Arabia imposed a temporary lockdown on the province of Qatif, following the spread of coronavirus. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: All visitors currently inside Saudi Arabia, whose visit visas are about to expire, will now be able to extend their stay for up to 180 days, after paying a fee.

The move was taken after Saudi Arabia decided to suspend all international flights for two weeks in light of the outbreak of coronavirus.

According to the directives of Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Saud Bin Nayef Bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior, the General Directorate of Passports will now allow holders of all types of visit visas to extend their stay in the kingdom.

They can do so through Absher platform or by visiting the General Directorate of Passports’ offices in case they cannot extend it online.

The General Directorate of Passports affirmed it was coordinating with the National Information Centre to list the exceptional extension service among the services provided by the Ministry of Interior’s Absher platform.

Starting Sunday, Saudi Arabia suspended all international flights for two weeks.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, an official source said some flights will be allowed in “exceptional cases” and necessary health checks and quarantine measures will be in place for those passengers upon arrival in the Kingdom.

The ministry added that residents who are unable to fly back will be considered to be on “official holiday”.