Amid the coronavirus outbreak, many Arab countries have been taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of their citizens.
The latest country to block travel to China is Saudi Arabia, for both residents and citizens alike. But in addition to that, non-Saudi permanent residents (aka expats) who travel to China during this period will no longer be allowed to enter Saudi Arabia, according to media reports.
If a Saudi citizen is caught violating the kingdom's restrictions, they would be penalized; expats won't be allowed back into the country, according to Bloomberg.
The recent decisions come days after the kingdom evacuated 10 students who were living in China's Wuhan, the city where the current coronavirus (nCoV) is believed to have originated.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Arab region has - for the most part - been void of it. The only exception is the UAE, where five cases have been reported as of yet.
As for Saudi Arabia, no cases have been reported thus far.
The kingdom isn't the only Arab country evacuating citizens from the epicenter of the current coronavirus. On Sunday, Egyptian officials confirmed they have sent an airplane to bring back nationals living in Wuhan. Those returned will be quarantined upon arrival.
Several other Arab countries have taken measures to protect their citizens from the ongoing outbreak including Iraq. Other countries including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and Bahrain have already been screening passengers arriving from China at their airports.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the current coronavirus outbreak as a global emergency. This comes as the number of people infected by the virus continues to rise, especially in China.