Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has expanded the travel ban to include most European Union (EU) states, in addition to 12 other Asian and African countries.
The Saudi authorities tighten the ban which applies to citizens and expatriates, as the overall number of confirmed novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases jumped to 45.
The Ministry of Health stated that a man and a woman who returned from Iraq had been quarantined, in addition to a 12-year-old girl in Al Qatif, who also tested positive for the virus. It is believed she contracted the virus from her grandfather, who recently returned from a trip to Iran.
The remaining 21 cases involve Egyptians who had contact with a visitor from their home country who previously tested positive for the coronavirus.
One patient has so far recovered while 44 other infected people remain in isolation as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols.
The travel ban was extended to include other EU member states who did not feature in the list which was released last Monday, in addition to Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia.
A statement by the Saudi Ministry of Interior said Saudi citizens and nationals of the countries covered by the ban who have valid residency in the Kingdom are given 72-hour period to return to Saudi Arabia before the travel suspension decision becomes effective.
The Saudi authorities have also halted all land transportation with Jordan, except for the passage of passengers considered as "humanitarian cases" and commercial and cargo traffic.
Health from the Philippines and India have also be allowed to enter Saudi Arabia, in addition to evacuation, shipping and trade trips after taking necessary precautionary measures.