Government of Saudi Arabia announced on Friday that it has temporarily stopped granting tourist visas to people in certain countries particularly badly hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
The Saudi ministry of tourism temporarily suspended issuing electronic tourist visas for those people who are coming from China, Italy, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Kazakhstan, the Saudi news agency (SPA) reported. This decision applies both to electronic visas attained online and traditional visas issued upon the arrival. In addition, tourist visas in past issued to residents of the listed countries will be temporarily suspended due to the outbreak of Coronavirus.
Tourist visas will still be available electronically or upon arrival to citizens of other qualifying countries, but as a precaution they will not be permitted to visit Makkah or Madinah.
Most of the people in countries that are not eligible to apply for electronic visas can highly check whether they can travel to the Kingdom by dialing on a helpline on 0096 692 000 0890. People of the US, the UK and Schengen nations can call the same number to check whether they can obtain a tourist visa or not.
“As awareness plays a vital role in our daily life. Similarly, our budding youth should be fully aware about the new updation of rules in Saudi Arabia. So, to spread awareness visamonthly.com is working devotedly to inform the audience about the happenings in the immigration industry” said by an official.
The whole Ministry of Tourism said that the limitations were designed to protect citizens, residents and tourists, in line with recommendations from health authorities.
“These procedures are on temporary basis and are subject to continuous evaluation by the competent authorities,” a spokesman for the ministry stated.
The latest limitations come a day after Saudi authorities announced temporary bans on Umrah pilgrims and mark their presence to the Prophet’s Mosque. They also said that holders of tourist visas from the country’s worst affected by the virus would be refused entry to the country.
Also, on Thursday, the Saudi Arabia health ministry said there are still “no known cases” of the coronavirus in the whole Kingdom.