February 27, 2020 / 10:12 AM / a month ago

Emirates won't fly Umrah pilgrims, some tourists to Saudi due to coronavirus outbreak

Umrah pilgrims sleep after the cancellation of the departure to Mecca, following the Saudi government's temporary ban announced on Thursday to keep the country safe because of coronavirus outbreak, at Soekarno Hatta International Airport, Tangerang near Jakarta, Indonesia February 27, 2020 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Muhammad Iqbal/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT.

DUBAI (Reuters) - Emirates airline said it would no longer carry to Saudi Arabia passengers with Umrah pilgrimage visas or tourists from nearly two dozen countries until further notice, in compliance with a Saudi government directive to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Holders of Saudi tourist visas traveling from China, Japan, Italy, Iran, India, Pakistan and a number of other countries will be barred from boarding Emirates flights with Saudi Arabia as the final destination, the airline said on its website.

The ban takes effect on Thursday.

Reporting by Saeed Azhar; writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Gareth Jones

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