Saudi Arabia lifts pandemic ban on citizens’ travel to Turkey

Saudi Arabia on Monday lifted a ban on citizens traveling to Turkey and three other countries, state media reported, as the kingdom continues to ease coronavirus prevention measures.

The move comes two days ahead of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s scheduled visit to Turkey.

At the start of the pandemic, Saudi Arabia imposed a rule banning all foreign travel, and as of last month 16 countries, including Turkey, were still banned for Saudi citizens.

“A decision has been taken to lift the suspension of direct or indirect travel by citizens to Ethiopia, Turkey, Vietnam and India,” the official Saudi Press Agency said on Monday, quoting an official from the ministry of peace. ‘Interior.

It was made “on the basis of monitoring the epidemiological situation of the coronavirus pandemic”, said the official.

Saudi authorities are also easing coronavirus restrictions at home, announcing last week that masks would no longer be required in most enclosed spaces.

Ties between Riyadh and Ankara have been hit hard by the murder of Khashoggi, a Saudi insider turned critic.

In May, the national airline Saudia resumed flights to Turkey, although citizens were still unable to get there.

Turkey is a favorite vacation destination for many Saudi families.

Prince Mohammed is expected to arrive in Turkey on Wednesday after stops in Egypt and Jordan.