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Saudi lifts ban on UAE travel imposed over Covid

Saudi Arabia said Tuesday it was lifting a ban on travel to three countries including the UAE after imposing the restrictions to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The kingdom would reopen on Wednesday its land, sea and air ports to the United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Argentina, the official SPA news agency reported, citing an interior ministry source.

The UAE, and especially Dubai, is a key leisure destination for Saudis.

In May, Saudi Arabia allowed its citizens vaccinated against the coronavirus to travel after a year-long ban.

It later decided to allow only fully vaccinated citizens to travel from August 9.

Riyadh’s decision to lift the ban came hours after a phone call between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia suspended travel to and from the UAE along with Vietnam and Ethiopia on July 3, after the neighbouring Gulf state recorded cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

The kingdom has administered more than 38 million doses of vaccines against Covid, according to figures published by the health ministry on Tuesday.

It has so far recorded more than 545,000 cases of coronavirus, including over 8,500 deaths.