JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has cancelled flights to Saudi Arabia which has imposed a ban on international flights for a week following the discovery of a new Covid-19 strain known as SARS-CoV-2 in Great Britain.
Garuda Indonesia announced that the cancellation will take place immediately on Monday, December 21. “Garuda Indonesia will cancel flight GA 9802 to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, due to travel restrictions imposed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
The Arab News media outlet reported that Saudi Arabia applied the ban on Monday, December 21.
Saudi Arabia also closed its harbors and overland routes to passengers, but not commodities or exports from countries afflicted by the new Covid-19 strain.
Thousands of Indonesian Muslims head to Saudi Arabia annually to carry out the major hajj pilgrimage or the minor umrah pilgrimage.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the discovery of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strain in Great Britain will not change Indonesia’s stance on foreign travelers going to and from the country.
“The [Indonesian] government has not authorized foreign citizens from entering Indonesia, other than those on essential travel,” said Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Teuku Faizasyah.
He did not say whether Indonesia will follow suit with other countries which banned travel to and from Great Britain.