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Sat 14 Mar 2020 10:36 AM

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Saudi Arabia to suspend all international flights from Sunday

Gulf kingdom's foreigh ministry says suspension of flights will continue for two weeks from Sunday

Saudi Arabia to suspend all international flights from Sunday
Saudi Arabia last year opened a new terminal at its international airport in Jeddah.

Saudi Arabia said on Saturday it will suspend international flights for two weeks in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The kingdom's foreign ministry tweeted that the suspension of international flights would begin on Sunday as part of preventative measures to try to halt the spread of the virus which has so far infected 86 people in the country.

The suspension applies to all but "exceptional cases," the official Saudi Press Agency said, quoting an official source in the interior ministry.

Citizens and expatriates who are unable to return due to the suspension or who go into quarantine after returning will be granted an "exceptional official holiday," it added.

The country had previously halted flights to some countries and closed schools and universities as part of measures to contain the disease.

Authorities have also suspended the umrah year-round pilgrimage to the Muslim holy cities of Makkah and Madinah for fear of the virus spreading.

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