Omicron: Saudi authorities halt inbound flights from Nigeria

Following the emergence of the new Coronavirus variant, Omicron, authorities in Saudi Arabia have halted aircraft from Nigeria landing at the country‘s airports.

A report by BBC Hausa said it sighted the statement issued by the Saudi authorities on Wednesday, to some airline companies in Nigeria.

The report said this action taken by Saudi Arabia, made the country the third that barred airlines from Nigeria to land in their countries, after Canada and Britain. 

The statement read  “We have stopped flights from Nigeria to enter our country and we’ve stopped all Nigerians from entering Saudi Arabia, either directly or through another country.

“However, those who stopped over in another country for a period of 14 days after leaving Nigeria, that is only when they will be allowed entry into Saudi Arabia.“

Also, the statement noted that Saudi citizens coming home from Nigeria, have to be quarantined for a period of 5 days, even if they are certified to have received the coronavirus vaccination.

It could be recalled that since the Saudi government lifted the ban on entry into the country, there was a mad rush by Nigerians to visit the country and perform the lesser hajj. 

On the 16th of October, 2021, custodians of the two holy Masjids in Mecca and Medina announced the cancellation of spacing during worships, which was earlier imposed at the Holy Kaaba in Makkah and at the Holy Prophet’s Masjid in Madina. 

This development came on the heels of the order given by the workers of the two Masjids of relaxing the restrictions on earlier preventive measures on the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Initially, the Saudi authorities had directed that only those who have taken the first and second jab of the coronavirus vaccine, would be allowed entry into the two Holy Masjids in Makkah and Madina. 

It was when fewer cases of new infections were recorded in Saudi Arabia that the country decided to relax the restrictions. 

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