Riyadh, March 20, 2020, SPA -- An official source in the Ministry of Interior has stated today that in completion of the preventive and precautionary measures recommended by the competent health authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as part of their unremitting efforts to control the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), along with the keenness on protecting the health of citizens and expatriates and ensuring their safety, and based on the World Health Organization's announcement of the COVID-19 as a global pandemic due to its outbreak in more than 170 countries so far. The Kingdom’s government has decided the following:

First: Suspending all domestic flights for a period of 14 days starting at 6 A.M, Saturday Morning, March 21, 2020, with the exception of flights related to humanitarian and necessary cases, medical evacuation aircraft and private aviation, and the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), will issue the necessary permits for flights in coordination with the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health, with taking precautionary measures and preventive measures in accordance with the recommendations of the Ministry of Health to reduce infection transmission.

Second: Suspending buses operating in all their forms for a period of 14 days, starting at 6 A.M, Saturday Morning, March 21, 2020, with the exception of the buses of government agencies or public or private health facilities, and commercial establishments transporting their employees, or that are used for health, humanitarian or security purposes, according to letters issued by the Ministry of Interior or the Ministry of Health.

Third: Suspending taxis operating for a period of 14 days, starting at 6 A.M, Saturday Morning, March 21, 2020, with the exception of the service provided in airports for air transport, as estimated by GACA and the activity of transporting individuals is limited to special vehicles working with applications.

The Public Transport Authority (PTA) will coordinate with the Ministry of Interior, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), and other relevant authorities to urgently block the violating applications of passengers transport.

The security authorities will follow up the suspending of buses and taxis operating until the suspension period ends.

Fourth: Suspending of train services for all operators for a period of 14 days starting at 6 A.M, Saturday Morning, March 21, 2020, including Riyadh-Dammam railroad through Abqaiq and Hofuf, the Riyadh- Al-Jouf railroad through the Majmaah, Qassim and Hail, and the Haramain high-speed railway. And continuing of commercial transport trains, including the freight train between King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam and the Riyadh Dry Port and the mining train of the Saudi Railways Company (SAR).

And continuing to operate transport ferries between Jizan and Farasan Island, while reducing the number of passengers to 100 people per trip, taking into account the employees and residents of Farasan Island, and not allowing traveling through them for tourist purposes.

And continuing in the work of cargo vessels according to their usual program, taking all precautionary and preventive measures in accordance with the recommendations of the Ministry of Health to reduce infection transmission.

The decision stipulated that the suspension should not include the various means of transportation related to vital sectors such as health, services and basic commodities such as food, energy, water and communications, etc., air freight and necessary security transfers, and this be based on estimations of the committee concerned with dealing of the novel Coronavirus, taking into consideration all necessary precautions.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

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