Saudi Bans Filipino Tourists Over COVID-19 Outbreak

Saudi Arabia is imposing a travel ban on tourists from countries, including the Philippines, judged to pose “a particularly high risk” of spreading COVID-19, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced Wednesday, March 4.

Aside from tourist visa holders, Saudi Arabia is also banning the entry of “umrah” pilgrimage visa holders from visiting Islam’s holiest sites to quell the spread of the virus.

The advisory follows days of confusion over the exact scope of the Saudi government’s travel restrictions first implemented last February 27.

But the Philippine government sought to clarify the full scope of the travel ban, following reports that some Filipinos traveling to Saudi Arabia were unable to enter the country for other purposes.

Filipinos holding employment, work visit, business visit, and family visit visas will still be allowed entry into Saudi Arabia, the DFA said.

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