Travelers from 11 countries allowed entry into Kingdom

RIYADH, May 31 (INP): Saudi Arabia will allow the entry of travelers from 11 countries starting from May 30, following a suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Saturday, citing an official source at the Ministry of Interior.

According to Saudi Gazette’s report that this list of the countries include the UAE, Germany, US, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, UK, Sweden, Switzerland, France, and Japan, with the condition if implementation institutional quarantine procedures upon their arrival to the Kingdom.

The source said the decision was taken based on the Public Health Authority’s report regarding the epidemiological situation in a number of declared countries, which showed stability and effectiveness in controlling the pandemic in some of these countries.

In February, authorities had banned the entry of travelers from these countries except for Saudi nationals, diplomats, health professionals and their families.

Earlier, the ministry of interior said that all non-vaccinated visitors coming from countries not facing ban need to go into institutional quarantine upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia as part of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the Kingdom.

The move is mandatory for all non-vaccinated travelers to abide by institutional quarantine procedures for a period of 7 days and obtain a valid health insurance document to cover the risks of coronavirus.

The institutional quarantine is enforced at a facility under the supervision of the health authorities as opposed to home quarantine. The non-vaccinated travelers also must undergo a PCR test for coronavirus on the first and seventh day of their arrival.

While the Kingdom officially lifted its suspension on citizens traveling abroad on May 17, it has warned citizens from traveling to 13 countries without permission due to security circumstances and the instability in a number of countries, and also the continuation of the coronavirus pandemic.

The countries that Saudi citizens have been advised against visiting are the following: Afghanistan, Armenia, Belarus, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela and Yemen.

Later, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) issued a circular to all air carriers operating in the Kingdom’s airports regarding the ending of the suspension of travel for those coming from these 11 countries.

The decision took into consideration the stability of the epidemiological situation in some countries and the effectiveness of controlling the pandemic in some others.

GACA also called on travelers to adhere to the procedures that must be followed and following up on the updates of the mechanism and the institutional quarantine procedures