© Reuters. Saudi nationals scan their paperwork at a digital-Immigration gate on the King Khalid Worldwide Airport, after Saudi authorities lifted the journey ban on its residents after fourteen months as a consequence of coronavirus illness (COVID-19) restrictions, in Riyadh,

RIYADH (Reuters) – There was pleasure however no crowds early on Monday morning at Riyadh’s worldwide airport as Saudi Arabia lifted a ban on residents travelling out of the Gulf state with out prior permission from authorities.

Saudi nationals who’ve acquired at the least one COVID-19 vaccination shot a minimal two weeks previous to journey, those that have recovered from the coronavirus illness inside the final six months, and people underneath 18 will likely be allowed to journey for the primary time since March 2020.

“It is an awesome feeling, thank God, we’re blissful, particularly after the troublesome interval we and all the world have suffered,” mentioned Bandar Al Nawash, a passenger ready within the departure lounge of King Khalid Worldwide Airport.

Fellow nationwide Faisal Al Tamimi mentioned he had anticipated giant crowds on the airport, however there have been only some travellers early on Monday after the suspension was lifted at 1 a.m. native time.

“I believe persons are anxious concerning the coronavirus variants such because the one in India, and new developments in some international locations,” Al Tamimi mentioned.

There are 13 international locations Saudi nationals are nonetheless banned from visiting with out prior permission, whether or not via direct or oblique flights as a consequence of COVID-19 dangers.

Saudi Arabia, with a inhabitants of some 30 million, reported 825 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking whole caseload to 433,094, together with 7,162 deaths.

Authorities mentioned on Sunday greater than 11.5 million vaccines had been administered within the Gulf Arab state up to now.

“Thank God … right this moment we are able to journey whether or not for tourism or for enterprise. God prepared this pandemic will likely be over and everybody will have the ability to journey,” mentioned Jaber Al Mahadi, one other traveller on the airport on Monday morning.

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