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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 6 March 2021

Saudi Arabia postpones end of travel and port restrictions to May 17

The move has coincided with the delay of vaccines to the country

Saudi Arabia will push back an opening date for its ports following the delay of coronavirus vaccines. Shuttershock
Saudi Arabia will push back an opening date for its ports following the delay of coronavirus vaccines. Shuttershock

Saudi Arabia has postponed the end of a ban on travel for its citizens and the reopening of its ports from March 31 to May 17, the Saudi state news agency said on Friday, citing an interior ministry official.

The health minister has said that deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines are being delayed.

The Kingdom wants to ensure more people are immunised against the coronavirus before lifting restrictions, the press release said.

Riyadh suspended international flights and access through land crossings and ports on December 21.

Last month Saudi Arabia was one of the first Gulf countries to launch a massive vaccination campaign using the Pfizer-BioNTech jab. People aged over 65 as well as those with chronic ailments or at a high risk of infection will receive the vaccine in the first stage, and those aged over 50 in the second, the health ministry said last month.

Saudi Arabia's finance minister said on Tuesday his country was talking to manufacturers to provide Covid-19 vaccines to low-income countries including Yemen and African states.

"We are negotiating with a lot of the vaccination companies to provide more vaccinations particularly to low income countries," Mohammed al-Jadaan told the virtual World Economic Forum in Davos.

Updated: January 29, 2021 10:38 PM

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