Saudi Arabia announced today that it will suspend all domestic flights, trains, buses and taxis as well as prayers in the outer courtyards of its two holy mosques, Mecca and Medina for 14 days starting Saturday due to COVID-19.
The move comes as a preventive and precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, social distancing being advocated as the key to reducing the number of cases.
Humanitarian assistance flights, medical evacuation aircrafts, private flights and diplomatic flights are excluded under this new measure.
Air, land and water transport dealing with essential services such as health services, food and water, and cargo and freight ships will also not be affected, however, precautions and extra health measures will be taken by them in accordance with the recommendations of the health ministry.
Saudi Arabia also announced early today morning that it would suspend entry into and prayers conducted at the outer courtyards of the two holy mosques Mecca and Medina.
The mosques had been shut down for a brief period earlier while deep cleaning and sterilisation were taking place. Pilgrimage by foreign tourists to Mecca and Medina has also been suspended.
Saudi Arabia has so far confirmed 274 cases of COVID-19 infections with no deaths. Globally the pandemic has infected more than 240,000 and killed nearly 10,000.