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Planes preparing for take off at Riyadh King Khalid Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Aviation authorities have issued new rules for domestic air travel in the country as it continues to fight the coronavirus. Image Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK

Cairo: Two days before domestic air travel resumes in Saudi Arabia, aviation authorities have made the electronic ticket and wearing a protective face mask a must for passengers.

“The person who wants to travel will have to come to the airport with two things: the electronic ticket because there will be no paper ticket; and the second thing wearing the face mask,” Ebrahim Alrwosa, the spokesman for the General Authority of Civil Aviation, told Saudi television Al Ekhabariya. “There will be no laxity as far as the mask is concerned. The passenger will not be allowed into the airport without it.”

The official said that travel is still not recommended unless for extreme necessity.

As part of health precautions against the spread of the new coronavirus, passengers’ temperatures will be checked upon entering the airport. “Should the temperature be found to be high, the passenger would be excluded from the flight. Social distancing rules will also be applied at all airport utilities, which means there should be two metres between two persons,” Alrwosa added.

There will be an empty seat between every two passengers aboard the plane to comply with social distancing guidelines, according to the official.

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia announced easing some restrictions earlier imposed to contain the novel coronavirus.

Starting from Sunday, movement will be allowed daily from 6am (7am UAE time) until 8pm across Saudi Arabia, except in the holy city of Mecca. Also, all employees return to their workplaces as the kingdom is moving towards gradual return to normal life.