Stock Saudi airport
Saudi passengers prepare to check-in for flights at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah in a file photo. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced a three-year travel ban for citizens who travel to countries on the red list, state press agency SPA said.

The Ministry of Interior warned Saudi citizens against travelling to countries that have been put on the no-travel list recently as these countries are currently witnessing a surge in cases of COVID-19 and its variants.

The red-list countries include the UAE, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Belarus, India and Vietnam.

An official source at the ministry was quoted by SPA as saying: “Travelling to the banned countries is an obvious violation of COVID-19 related travel restrictions and the Kingdom’s updated instructions.”

The source said that there are reports about citizens travelling to the banned countries where travel is prohibited in violation of the instructions issued by official authorities.

“Those who violate travel ban will be held accountability and slapped with heavy penalties,” the source said. He added that those who are found to have violated the instructions would be banned from travelling abroad for three years.

The ministry called on citizens against travelling directly or indirectly to the red-list countries where the pandemic has not yet been controlled and there is a surge in cases of mutated strains of coronavirus.

It also urged citizens to exercise caution and stay away from areas where instability prevails or the virus is spreading, and take all precautionary measures regardless of their destination.