200307 shutterstock
Planes preparing for take off at Riyadh King Khalid Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK

Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior said on Tuesday it will soon announce the exact date for lifting travel restrictions imposed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Quoting an official source at the ministry, SPA said the lifting of the ban on citizens and residents travelling to and from the kingdom will be announced by the ministry shortly.

On September 13, the ministry announced that the travel ban is tentatively planned to be lifted on January 1, 2021. The ministry had earlier said that the deadline for lifting the suspension would be announced 30 days before it happened, but it has yet to do so.

“The date for lifting restrictions on citizens and residents traveling to and from the Kingdom and allowing the opening of ports to all means of transport will be announced soon by the ministry,” the source said in a statement carried by SPA.

The source added the ministry would like to confirm that the date for lifting restrictions on two-way travelling and allowing the opening of ports will be announced later.

The ministry was expected to make the final announcement, confirming the exact date for easing the travel restrictions imposed in the wake of the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the source said.

The ministry had also indicated that the Ministry of Health may raise a request to set coronavirus protocols for travellers and airlines.

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) resumed partial operation of international flights on September 15, exempting certain categories of Saudis and expatriates from the temporary travel ban.

Saudia has resumed its services to 33 international destinations since November.