Saudis allowed to return from Bahrain via King Fahd Causeway

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Arabians are now allowed to use the King Fahd Causeway to return home, the Saudi embassy in Bahrain said on Wednesday.

Citizens will not have to obtain approval to re-enter like many stranded abroad.

"Starting today, the embassy in Manama would like to announce the possibility of the return of Saudi citizens in the Kingdom of Bahrain who wish to return to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia via King Fahd Bridge without prior permission, " the embassy in Manama tweeted. It also said nationals would be required to follow Saudi coronavirus containment measures once in the kingdom, including a quarantine.

A sign indicating the wearing of a face mask is mandatory at a bus station in . Chris Whiteoak / The National

A sign promoting safe distancing at a bus station in Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

People shop at the re-opened Babylon Mall in Baghdad, Iraq. AP Photo

People push trollies, as they head to board a plane at Beirut International airport, Lebanon. Reuters

A woman embraces a man before she heads to board a plane at Beirut International airport, Lebanon. Reuters

Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan speaks about local issues concerning the coronavirus during an interview in Beirut. AP Photo

A man pets his horse after a cart race in Cairo, Egypt. Reuters

An Egyptian merchant is seen in action during a horse cart race in Cairo. Reuters

People sit in their cars watching a movie in a drive-in cinema at Bahrain Bay in Manama, Bahrain. Reuters

The Causeway closed when borders on both sides shut on March 7 as coronavirus began to take hold and nations around the world scrambled to limit the numbers of people coming in from abroad.

Since then, no passenger traffic has crossed the bridge, but cargo trucks and lorries still made the journey to make deliveries under certain conditions.

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.

During the closure – the first time the bridge has been shut for a prolonged period since it opened in 1986 – major upgrades have been made.

New customs gates and e-payment lanes will increase traffic capacity by 45 per cent, officials said.

The embassy also announced on Wednesday that Saudis travelling into Bahrain by air must quarantine for 10 days.

Both nations took swift action to stem the spread of the virus. Saudi Arabia confirmed 2331 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, bringing its total number to 258,156 and total deaths to 2,601.

Bahrain confirmed 321 new cases of Covid-19, 162 among expatriate workers and 159 were contacts of active cases. Bahrain's death toll is 130.

Updated: July 23, 2020 10:52 AM

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