SAUDI TRAVEL BAN: 10 THINGS EXPATS NEED TO KNOW

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Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has imposed a temporary travel ban on foreigners from 20 countries, including India. The decision affected thousands of people returning to Saudi Arabia. The decision by the home ministry is part of the Kovid security precaution.
10 things related to this

1- Which countries are banned?

It is banned in the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Japan. But Saudi nationals from these countries are not barred from returning. Visitors to these countries during the last 14 days are not allowed to enter Saudi Arabia.

2- When will it come into force

The ban will take effect on Wednesday night from 9 p.m. Scheduled travel to Saudi Arabia, including from the UAE, will not be banned until tonight.

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3- What should people in the UAE do?

Currently there are many people staying in Quarantine in that country to go to Saudi via UAE. Those who stay in Quarantine in the UAE without a family visa will have to stay there. The travel ban also applies to the UAE. Many expatriates are currently living in Quarantine in the UAE.

4- Is it possible to come via Oman?

Oman and Bahrain are currently accessible to the UAE. But visa procedures for these countries are not as easy as in the UAE.

4- Do health workers have access?

Health workers, diplomats and their families are exempt from the ban. They will be allowed entry in compliance with the 14-day quarantine protocol.

5- Is it possible to extend leave from home?

Leave can be extended. Kafeel or the sponsor can decide.

6- Can I go back home?

There are no restrictions on going from Saudi Arabia to banned countries. But in the current situation, it is better that only expatriates whose iqama is not expiring soon go home.

7- What is the reason for the decision?

It was the failure of the people to comply with the Kovid protocol that prompted the government to bring in such a regulation. Earlier, the home ministry had said that large-scale regulation would take place.

8- Is the air bubble contract canceled?

Air Bubble has also canceled its agreements with Pakistan and Bangladesh. Saudi Arabia does not currently have an air bubble agreement with India.

9- Will the ban be lifted?

The government had earlier set a time limit for all travel bans. But it is not clear whether the current ban will be lifted. The Home Ministry press release does not say anything about this. It is expected to be resolved in two to three days.

10- When do things go normally?

Can’t say that now. The Covid-19 vaccine has not reached the country adequately. Restrictions are expected to be lifted once the vaccine reaches a certain percentage of people and the covid rate drops. It is expected to reach this level by the middle of this year.

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