JEDDAH: Saudia airline will increase passenger numbers on incoming flights from the UAE in the next 24 hours as travelers scramble to return home ahead of flight restrictions.
The Saudi Ministry of Interior on Friday announced a travel ban to and from the UAE, Vietnam and Ethiopia due to a rise in COVID-19 cases and the spread of more severe variants, forcing many Saudis with travel plans to cancel their flights or return early.
Anyone entering the Kingdom after the ban comes into effect on Sunday, July 4, at 11 p.m. will need to quarantine.
Among those affected by the decision is 25-year-old Deena Al-Dakheel, of Jeddah, who was hoping to reunite with her fiance, Mohammed, after his trip to Egypt.
“He was visiting family in Egypt, but since he’s only a resident here, he wasn’t allowed entry,” said Al-Dakheel. “So we tried to get him to come through the UAE, but then this decision came out. I’m very disappointed.”
She added: “He has been living here his whole life, so he has work, commitments and other responsibilities. We need to find a way for him to get back, but every other route is inconvenient, difficult and expensive. I just hope we can figure something out soon.”