Saudi Arabia will open its borders on May 17 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry announced on Saturday that on May 17, the kingdom’s land, sea, and air borders would be opened, allowing its citizens to fly abroad.

Saudi residents who have taken two injection vaccines, or one shot at least two weeks before flight, those who have benefited from coronavirus within the last six months, and those under the age of 18 will be permitted to travel, according to the ministry.

“The decision to lift the suspension on citizens traveling outside Saudi Arabia will go into effect at 1:00 am on May 17,” the ministry said, adding that the kingdom will re-open its land, sea and air borders.

The policy represents an incentive for citizens, barred from traveling abroad since the pandemic began, to get vaccinated.

In a world with a population of over 34 million people, the kingdom’s health ministry announced that it had distributed more than nine million coronavirus vaccine doses.

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Saudi residents have been effectively barred from travelling since March 2020, when the kingdom first prohibited all travel in and out of the country as COVID-19 spread globally.

Its boundaries were reopened in July 2020, but people were still barred from travelling. Authorities delayed the termination of the public travel ban and the immediate reopening of access points until May 17 in January.

It revoked entry for noncitizens from 20 countries in February, with the exception of ambassadors and medical professionals.

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