On Sunday, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) announced the resumption of flight operations to Saudi Arabia after the Gulf country announced the reopening of its borders and the resumption of international flights after a two-week suspension aimed at preventing the spread of the current Covid-19 virus.
A PIA spokesman said that, from today, passengers will be able to fly to Saudi Arabia after a notice was released by the General Civil Aviation Authority of Saudi Arabia authorising the resumption of flight operations. Pakistanis were previously only permitted to return from the region.
Passengers should contact the [PIA] call centre on 111 786 786 or visit the offices to enable or make new old bookings,’ the spokesman added, adding that a Covid-19 PCR exam will be compulsory before travel for all passengers.
“In the meantime, the Saudi Ministry of the Interior said that the government had ordered the removal of “precautionary steps relating to the dissemination of a new coronavirus variant,” the Saudi News Agency said.
More than 363,000 cases have been registered in Saudi Arabia, including over 6,200 deaths, the highest among the Gulf Arab states, but a high recovery rate has also been reported.
On December 21, Riyadh suspended international flights and access through land crossings and ports.
In recent days, the other Gulf nations, Oman and Kuwait, which have taken similar steps, have also lifted them.
But the statement continued that travellers returning from Britain, South Africa or “any country where the new variant of the coronavirus is spreading” are subject to further restrictions.
Before entering Saudi Arabia, foreigners arriving from those countries must spend 14 days in another country and have a negative test shown.
Saudi residents returning from those nations will be allowed to join immediately, but they must then spend two weeks on arrival in quarantine and be subject to checks.
One of the first Gulf states to begin a major vaccine programme using the Pfizer-BioNTech jab was Saudi Arabia last month.