Michael Olugbode in Abuja
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has lifted the ban on direct flights from Nigeria and 16 other countries imposed on these largely African nations on December 8, 2021, in response to the discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in South Africa.
It lifted the ban on these countries: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique.
Others include Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia, Madagascar, Angola, Seychelles, the United Republic of Comoros, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also scrapped most of the COVID-19 restrictions and has ended social distancing in the two Holy Mosques and all mosques in the Kingdom, but has continued to enforce the wearing of facemasks.
Saudi Arabia said it no longer requires travellers to undergo mandatory COVID-19 quarantine upon arrival to the Kingdom and passengers would also no longer need to provide a PCR test upon their arrival.
The Kingdom has also lifted the outdoor mask and social distancing mandates.
These were contained in the Saudi Gazette Report in the verified Twitter account of the Kingdom where it stated, “Saudi Arabia ended on Saturday most of the coronavirus restrictions in the country, including the following social distance and wearing masks outdoors.
“It will also end social distancing in the two Holy Mosques and all the mosques in the Kingdom but worshippers still have to wear masks. It is not mandatory to wear masks at open places but is required to wear masks indoors.
It also stated: “The new decisions announced by an official source at the Ministry of Interior will come into force starting from Saturday, March 5, 2022. It also suspended social distancing measures at all closed and open spaces, activities, and events.
“Also the country will no longer require travellers to undergo mandatory COVID-19 quarantine upon arrival to the Kingdom. Passengers will also no longer need to provide a PCR test upon their arrival.”
The Kingdom said that all arrivals to the Kingdom on visit visas of all kinds are required to get the insurance that covers the costs of treatment from coronavirus infection.
“The Kingdom lifted the suspension of direct flights and arrival to the Kingdom from the following countries: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia, Madagascar, Angola, Seychelles, United Republic of Comoros, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan.”