Relatives of Saudi nationals are now allowed to travel into the kingdom at land crossings, the country's General Directorate of Passports confirmed on Monday.
"The General Directorate of Passports in Saudi Arabia will be allowing entry to male and female citizens, and their non-Saudi family members (their husbands, wives, sons, and daughters) and domestic workers residing in the Kingdom accompanying them, who wish to return to the Kingdom through the land ports of neighbouring countries directly,” read a statement released on Monday.
Those wishing to enter must upload documents proving their relation to a Saudi national to an online platform to gain approval before arriving at the border. All non-Saudis entering the kingdom must also bring a negative PCR coronavirus test taken no more than 48 hours before the date of arrival.
The Kingdom has been carefully relaxing its coronavirus restrictions after completely cutting the country off from incoming flights, sea and land border crossings on March 7.
On July 23, the Saudi embassy in Bahrain announced it would allow Saudi nationals to cross the King Fahd Causeway from Bahrain without prior approval.
The causeway is a vital route for the small island kingdom. Of the 11.1 million tourists who entered Bahrain last year, 9.7 million – 88 per cent – travelled across the bridge.
Saudi Arabia recorded 1,175 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing its total to 309,768 cases, Over 280,000 of those have now recovered and 3,722 died.
The kingdom is launching innovative schemes to ensure that society continues to function despite the pandemic.
Across 20 television channels and online, the Saudi Ministry of Education is preparing to launch the largest virtual school in the world as classes resume despite the ongoing global pandemic.
Education Minister Hamad Al Sheikh announced the kingdom’s plan for virtual schooling in a press conference held in Riyadh last week.
“The ministry benefited from the last [academic] year’s experience as a basic starting point. Distance education and e-learning are no longer an option, rather, it is a necessity that all societies need,” he said.
“The government … believes that education is the focus of change in the kingdom and its people, it is the source of community development for all ages and distance education is part of this development in the educational process.”