Saudi Arabia extends ban on Umrah pilgrims, visitors until March 31

By: News Desk      Published: 11:25 PM, 3 Mar, 2020
Saudi Arabia extends ban on Umrah pilgrims, visitors until March 31
–File photo

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday extended the ban on Umrah pilgrims and visitors until March 31 keeping in view the spread of coronavirus in several countries of the world.

Saudia airlines issued a circular, informing Umrah pilgrims, visitors and station managers of Lahore, Multan, Islamabad, Karachi and Peshawar of the travel ban. The airline also cancelled tickets of Umrah pilgrims and visit visa holders and said that affected people could contact the airline’s sales and support centre for refund of their tickets.

However, people who have Saudi Arabia’s residence permits and business visas can still travel to the kingdom.

The airline has told the pilgrims and visitors to stay in touch with its help centre to save themselves from any trouble and get their flights rescheduled on time.

Earlier on February 28, Saudi Arabia placed an immediate ban on Umrah pilgrims travelling from the countries where coronavirus cases had been confirmed, including Pakistan. The ban was initially meant for two weeks.

The Saudi government’s move followed confirmation of two coronavirus cases in Pakistan on Wednesday evening. All airlines were directed to inform their passengers to wait until further orders.