Monday September 20, 2021

Saudi Arabia allows entry to fully vaccinated tourists

Tourists must show vaccination cards and PCR reports to enter the kingdom
Web Desk
July 31, 2021
Saudi Arab allows vaccinated tourists to visit the kingdom. Photo AFP
Saudi Arab allows vaccinated tourists to visit the kingdom. Photo AFP

RIYADH: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has permitted entry in the country to  tourists who have been fully inoculated against the coronavirus. The vaccinated tourists will be able to travel to the KSA from August 1 and onwards.

Saudi media reported on Friday that the kingdom has granted entrance to tourists after 17 months. The Saudi government had stopped issuing tourist visas in March 2020 when the travel bans were imposed as a consequence of the pandemic — soon after it took a major step towards building a tourism industry for the first time in 2019.

A statement by the Saudi Ministry of Tourism issued in regard with the new orders said that the every individual, eligible in accordance with the enforced policy, is being let in the country on the basis of their vaccination cards and negative reports of the PCR tests done within the last 72 hours before their travel.

“The travellers will be allowed to enter by  showing their vaccination cards, without requiring to be institutionally quarantined after they land,” read the statement.

However, only the people vaccinated with the Pfizer, Astra Zeneca, Moderna and J&J jabs, the vaccines approved by the KSA’s government, will be the ones enjoying entrance in the country, as per the statement.

In addition to this, travellers must register themselves on the new electronic portal introduced by the ministry. The portal will secure the registered individuals’ data in a related application, for them to show while entering any public space within the country.

The Saudi minister on health said that they welcome tourists in the KSA once again with pleasure on the resumption of their arrival after a long restriction imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saudi Arabia lifts ban from 11 countries

Just recently, Saudi Arabia lifted a ban on travellers arriving from 11 countries.

Travellers from the United Arab Emirates, Germany, the United States, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, France and Japan, have been allowed entry, after a ban was imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The list did not contain Pakistan's name, which remains in the list of countries still banned from entering the kingdom.

Earlier in February, Saudi Arabia had suspended entry to the kingdom from 20 countries, with the exception of diplomats, Saudi citizens, medical practitioners and their families, to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, the state news agency reported.

The temporary travel ban into the Kingdom also included those travellers who passed through any of the 20 banned countries 14 days preceding the implementation of the ban.

It must be noted that the Hajj and Umrah pilgrims are still not being accepted by the KSA from outside the country and the only pilgrims who performed Hajj and Umrah recently, were the kingdom’s own citizens.