Saudi Arabia will suspend passenger travel on domestic flights, buses, and trains, as well as taxi services for two weeks beginning on Saturday in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, an official source in the Ministry of Interior told state media on Friday
DOHA (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th March, 2020) Saudi Arabia will suspend passenger travel on domestic flights, buses, and trains, as well as taxi services for two weeks beginning on Saturday in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, an official source in the Ministry of Interior told state media on Friday.
At 06:00 local time [03:00 GMT] on Saturday, Saudi Arabia will introduce a number of travel restrictions on passenger travel, including the suspension of all domestic passenger flights, the Saudi Press Agency reported citing the ministry source.
Private air travel for humanitarian and medical purposes will be allowed to continue despite the ban on passenger flights, and the General Authority of Civil Aviation will issue permits for these flights after consultation with the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health, the agency stated.
Passenger trains, including the Haramain high-speed railway, will also be suspended. Freight trains, such as those serving the country's mines, will be allowed to continue to operate.
Bus services will also be suspended for a period of two weeks, although exceptions will be made for government agencies, health facilities and businesses whose employees need to travel to work.
Additionally, all passenger taxis will be suspended, with the exception of those providing transport to and from the country's airports. Violations will be monitored by the Ministry of Interior and the Communications and Information Technology Commission.
In line with the country's social distancing measures, passenger ferries between Jazan and Farasan Island will be allowed to operate, but with a maximum of 100 people on board.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has announced that his country will continue to take stringent, precautionary measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. On Thursday, authorities announced that overflow arenas outside of the holy mosques of Mecca and Medina would be closed for Friday prayers.
A total of 36 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, raising the overall total since the start of the outbreak to 274, the country's Health Ministry reported.