Saudi Arabia suspends entry for Umrah pilgrims

Saudi Arabia has imposed a temporary ban on Umrah pilgrims to enter Saudi Arabia due to coronavirus. In the previous week, coronavirus has spread many countries including Iran and Pakistan. Pakistan contributes to the highest number of Umrah pilgrims.

Umrah Pilgrims are not allowed to visit Madina

In addition to this, Umrah pilgrims who are in Makkah right now have been stopped from visiting Madina, the city of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.

What about the Visit Visa holders?

The Saudi authorities have clarified that passengers holding a family visit visa, employment visa, work visit visa, business visit visa and family visit visa are exempted from the travel restrictions provided that they did not visit any of the countries affected by the new Coronavirus during the period of two weeks before their arrival in the Kingdom. – Saudi Gazette

What are these countries? As of today, it includes only Iran, China, Italy, Macao, and Korea. So, if people coming on a Family Visit Visa have not traveled to Iran, Macao or China 2 weeks before taking a flight to Saudi Arabia, they are allowed to visit.

Tourist Visa holders from Corona Virus countries

The government of Saudi Arabia also has stopped the entry of tourist visa holders who are coming from those countries who are affected by the Corona Virus. The list of those countries is given below.

Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China (People's Rep.), Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong (SAR China), India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea (Rep.), Lebanon, Macao (SAR China), Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Somalia, Syria, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam or Yemen.

Saudi Nationals and GCC Nationals

Saudi Nationals and GCC nationals are also restricted to travel to and from Saudi Arabia using their national identity cards except those who are going back to their home countries. In other words, Saudi Arabia has closed its borders for the nationals of other GCC countries too.

What about Iqama holders?

Iqama holders who are entering back to Saudi Arabia on an exit reentry visa are allowed to enter the country unless they are coming from Iran or China.

How long would it continue?

It is too early to say how long this suspension will continue. It depends on how quickly the rest of the world overcome Coronavirus.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.