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Coronavirus

Saudi Arabia updates travel entry rules: All you need to know

Published: Updated:

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) on Monday issued updated rules for travelers entering the country, which applies to residents and visitors, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The rules will be effective as of Thursday, September 23, at 12pm.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

A Saudi man wearing a face mask gets his passport from a Saudi Immigration officer, at the King Khalid International Airport, after Saudi authorities lifted the travel ban on its citizens after fourteen months due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 16, 2021. (Reuters)
A Saudi man wearing a face mask gets his passport from a Saudi Immigration officer, at the King Khalid International Airport, after Saudi authorities lifted the travel ban on its citizens after fourteen months due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 16, 2021. (Reuters)

Those who have not been vaccinated and those who have taken one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and those who have taken a COVID-19 vaccine that isn’t approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Saudi Arabia, or a vaccine approved by the WHO but not approved by the Kingdom:

• Must submit a negative PCR test, administered no longer than 72 hours prior to their departure for the Kingdom.
• Will have to quarantine at home for five days upon their arrival to the Kingdom.
• PCR tests will be administered on the first and fifth days after their arrival.
• After the two tests turn out to be negative, the quarantine period ends.
• Must adhere to COVID-19 quarantine rules as per the “Tawakkalna” app.

GACA stated that companions of residents who have completed their COVID-19 vaccinations are permitted to enter the Kingdom as per the following rules:

• Unvaccinated companions under the age of 18 are subject to home quarantine procedures for a period of five days, provided that a COVID-19 test is taken on the fifth day, while adhering to the country’s COVID-19 rules.
• Unvaccinated companions over the age of 18 are subject to institutional quarantine.

GACA said those residing in the Kingdom must take both COVID-19 vaccine doses in Saudi Arabia after they have completed their institutional quarantine.

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A medical worker administers a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the first drive-through vaccination center in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on March 4, 2021. (AFP)
A medical worker administers a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the first drive-through vaccination center in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on March 4, 2021. (AFP)

Those who have taken COVID-19 vaccines approved by WHO but not approved in Saudi Arabia (Sinopharm, Sinovac vaccines) should obtain a booster dose from one of the vaccines available in the Kingdom after arrival.

Arrivals must also register on the “Qudoom” COVID-19 platform before their arrival to the Kingdom.

Those who test positive for COVID-19 during their quarantine periods will be isolated, and must adhere to the Ministry of Health’s rules regarding quarantine

Saudi citizens

Unvaccinated Saudi citizens arriving in the Kingdom will be subjected to home quarantine for a period of five days and must take a COVID-19 test on the fifth day as well as adhere to the Ministry of Health’s coronavirus precautionary measures.

Saudi Arabia’s rules stipulate that all unvaccinated individuals are not permitted to enter public places, including government and private facilities.

Read more:

Saudi Arabia to fine people who attempt to perform Umrah without permit

COVID-19 vaccination incentives for the public are ethical and effective

Saudi Arabia extends visas for expats, residents stuck abroad until Nov 30