The Coronavirus epidemic has claimed many lives across the world. Several nations have changed their Visa rules in a bid to prevent the Coronavirus outbreak. The latest among them is Saudi Arabia.
On Thursday, Saudi Arabia suspended issuing e-Tourist Visas to countries worst hit by Coronavirus. The countries include China, South Korea, Italy, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and Kazakhstan.
Saudi Arabia has also cancelled Tourist Visas that have been previously issued to nationals from the above countries.
Saudi Arabia, however, will continue to issue Tourist Visas both online as well as on arrival to other eligible countries. However, such tourists would not be allowed to visit Mecca and Madina, the holy cities as Umrah Visas have been suspended.
Other countries that are not eligible for online Visas need first to verify if they can visit Saudi Arabia by calling the tourist phone number 00966920000890.
Visa holders of US, UK and Schengen Visas should also call the above phone number to check the possibility of getting a Tourist Visa.
The Saudi Ministry of Tourism announced that the suspension of Visas is to ensure the safety of its citizens. The Visa suspension also aims to safeguard the residents and travellers visiting Saudi Arabia from other countries.
The Visa reforms are in line with the recommendations of the health authorities. Health authorities emphasise on taking the highest precautionary and proactive preventive measures to stop the arrival or spread of the Coronavirus in the desert kingdom.
The Ministry of Tourism also said that the Visa reforms are temporary. Concerned authorities are regularly evaluating the situation, and changes will be introduced accordingly.
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