Jawazat: Ban on direct entry from 9 countries, including India and Pakistan, continues

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Expatriates will not be allowed to enter the Kingdom from nine countries facing a travel ban unless they spend two weeks in a third country after their departure from these countries, the General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) has reiterated.

Currently, the countries facing the ban are India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Lebanon and all expatriates must not pass through any of the banned countries in the past 14 days before their entry into the Kingdom.

In February 2021, authorities banned the entry of travelers from a total of 20 countries, including these nine countries, except for Saudi nationals, diplomats, health professionals and their families.

Later on May 29, it was decided to allow entry to the Kingdom for those coming from 11 of these 20 countries, and these are the United Arab Emirates, Germany, United States, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, France and Japan.

Subsequently, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) issued a circular to all air carriers operating at the Kingdom’s airports regarding the end of the suspension of travel for those coming from these 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.

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The Ministry of Interior said earlier that all non-vaccinated visitors coming from countries not facing a ban need to go into institutional quarantine upon their arrival in the Kingdom 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 seven days and obtain a valid health insurance document to cover the risks against 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.

The institutional quarantine is not applicable to the following categories of expatriates who enter the Kingdom through the airports.

Citizens, female citizens, citizen’s wife, female citizen’s husband, female citizen’s sons and daughters, domestic workers accompanying any of the above-mentioned categories, those who hold a diplomatic visa, diplomats and their families residing with them, those who are associated with the health supply chains as deemed by the Ministry of Health, unvaccinated domestic workers accompanying immune resident, those who are immune, official delegations, and airline crew.

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The institutional quarantine is not applicable to the following categories of expatriates who enter the Kingdom through land and seaports: citizens, female citizens’ husbands, female citizens’ sons and daughters, domestic workers accompanying any of the aforementioned categories.

The exemption also applies to those holding diplomatic visas, diplomats and their families residing with them, those who are associated with the health supply chains as deemed by the Ministry of Health, those whose health condition appears immune and their companions under the age of 18, the crew of ships, truck drivers and their assistants in all entry points, and other exempted cases as deemed by the concerned authorities.

The precautionary measures adopted by the Ministry of Health are applied to the exempted groups, with the application of home quarantine for them, except for those who are vaccinated. All those visitors coming to the Kingdom who are not immune must obtain a valid health insurance document to cover the risks against COVID-19 approved by the authorities in the Kingdom.

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