Saudi Arabia does not rule out surprise decisions regarding resumption of flight service

Sunday, April 18, 2021

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia does not rule out surprise decisions regarding the resumption of international flight service after taking into account of various aspects of the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic situation in many parts of the world.

Dr. Talal Al-Tuwaijri, secretary of the committee concerned with measures to combat the coronavirus, said that the date set for the resumption of international flight service is May 17 (Shawwal 5, 1442).

“The final decision to resume international flight service will be made after taking into account several considerations, and the concerned authorities are working to study the matter from all sides.

“The decision has different dimensions and paths, and that is being studied now looking into all the details before the announced date,” he said without ruling out surprise decisions in this regard.

Attending a program on Rotana Khalijia television channel, Dr. Al-Tuwaijri urged people not to travel except for an urgent need in light of the continuing spread of the virus in various countries.

Referring to the requirement to take vaccination before travel, he explained that the health requirements that the Kingdom will set out for travel are currently being studied and will be announced before the opening of international flight service.

“The matter is not related to the Kingdom only, but other countries also have their own conditions. Our plan is to achieve 70 percent immunization of the society through vaccination before the end of 2021,” he said, adding that the Kingdom might reopen schools after reaching that level.

Dr. Al-Tuwaijri said that Saudi Arabia preceded the world in taking the measures to combat coronavirus. He said, “The first governmental committee to follow up on the pandemic was constituted in January 2020, before most of the countries of the world began their measures to confront the pandemic.

“The Kingdom has mobilized enormous material support resources to provide all that is required to combat the pandemic and its effects, and has changed the equation of government sectors’ interaction between each other, with placing all official bodies in rendering services to the Ministry of Health.”

Dr. Al-Tuwaijri noted that stopping study physically was a serious decision, describing it as a proactive decision of the first degree. “The most important lesson we have learned from this pandemic is that investing in our health security is an uncompromising path,” he added.