Friday Sep 25, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lifted travel restrictions imposed on Pakistanis, allowing passengers from the country to travel to the kingdom on iqama or a visit visa.
This was revealed by the spokesperson of the foreign office, who said that it will be mandatory for persons to take a PCR test in Saudi Arabia after they arrived in the country.
"The PCR test will have to be undertaken within 48 hours of arriving in Saudi Arabia," he said, clarifying that Saudi Arabia had not imposed any special travelling restrictions on Pakistanis.
"Pakistanis can travel to Saudi Arabia with ease without any restrictions," he said.
Saudi Arabia had imposed a travel ban on European, African and Asian countries such as Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia.
The ban had been imposed after the number of COVID-19 cases in the kingdom had jumped to 45.
The development comes a day after the Saudi government on Thursday granted special permission to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate 21 additional flights – on weekly basis – between the two countries.
According to the spokesperson of the national carrier, PIA had requested the Saudi authorities to allow additional flights, keeping in view the urgent need of many of the Pakistanis to reach Saudi Arabia for the renewal of their Iqamas.
He said with an increase in the number of flights PIA will be able to transport 25,500 passengers from Pakistan before the 30th of this month – which is the deadline for many ensuring their presence in the kingdom.
On Wednesday, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis, Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari had asked Saudi Arabia to increase flights and extend Iqama for Pakistani workers.