Five million entered or left Bahrain during Covid

MORE than five million travellers entered and exited Bahrain from January until October last year, it has emerged.

This was at a time when many countries closed their borders due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Bahrain, however, kept its airport open with minimal operations.

Furthermore, authorities co-ordinated evacuation procedures and brought home around 30,000 citizens and residents stuck abroad last year.

This was revealed by Interior Ministry’s General Administration of Ports Security director general Brigadier Maher Bu Ali.

“Many countries initially believed that coronavirus would not spread outside China, but Bahrain’s leadership saw the danger and issued directives to put in place preventive measures and precautions,” Brigadier Bu Ali was quoted in the ministry’s Al Amn magazine.

“These measures were subject to continuous development based on the situation.”

Measures

He revealed that a total of 5,623,617 individuals entered and exited the country until the end of October last year of which 1,249,556 travelled through Bahrain International Airport, 4,250,933 through King Fahad Causeway (before it was closed in March) and 123,128 via seaports.

The official said their teams underwent special training even before the first case of Covid-19 was detected in Bahrain in February last year.

“In addition, a total of 19,757 citizens from other countries were evacuated while we worked hard to facilitate the return of 10,218 Bahrainis including residents via our 108 missions from February 5 until October 3.”

He explained that during early Covid-19 days, all incoming travellers were isolated at the airport after PCR tests, and if the result was positive they were shifted to the designated quarantine centres.

“Plans constantly changed and procedures were modified, and now medical examination of arrivals is carried out at the airport as travellers are allowed to leave once the procedures are completed.”

Brigadier Bu Ali said the airport’s capacity to receive travellers increased from 1,000 to 2,000 per day from August 14.

He stressed that travellers coming through the airport must pay BD40 for two PCR tests.

Rules

The GDN reported on Monday that under new rules, travellers coming into Bahrain via the causeway must present a negative Covid-19 test taken 72 hours prior to their arrival.

This year’s Interior Ministry’s monthly magazine covers achievements of different directorates including the Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs that played a key role in rectifying the legal status of migrant workers last year. It includes exemption from fees and extension of visas.

“All visit visas were automatically extended, without fees until January 21, and all those with cancelled or expired work permits were allowed to stay in Bahrain until the end of 2020,” stated NPRA’s Ports, Research and Follow-Up assistant under-secretary Major General Abdulrahman Al Senan.

He said such measures motivated violators to legalise their stay in Bahrain last year.

We even received requests from expatriates wishing to voluntarily travel to their countries, he added.

 

Source: http://www.gdnonline.com/Details/913152/Five-million-entered-or-left-Bahrain-during-Covid

 

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