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Friday Jul 30 2021
Web Desk

Saudi Arabia allows fully-vaccinated tourists to visit the kingdom

Web Desk
Saudi Arabia allows fully vaccinated tourists to visit the kingdom. Photo: Arab News
Saudi Arabia allows fully vaccinated tourists to visit the kingdom. Photo: Arab News
  • Vaccinated tourists will be able to travel to the KSA from August 1.
  • Tourists must be inoculated with only Saudi-approved vaccines.
  • Tourists required to register with new data registration portal.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has announced that it will now allow fully vaccinated tourists to enter the kingdom, the Saudi state news agency reported Friday.

According to the agency, the restriction on tourists visiting the kingdom has been lifted after 17 months. Vaccinated tourists will be able to travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from August 1.

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

“The individuals willing to enter the country would just need to show their vaccination cards and they will not be quarantined after they land,” read the statement.

However, only those people who have been vaccinated with the jabs of Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — the vaccines approved by the KSA’s government — will be the ones enjoying entrance into the country as per the statement.

In addition to this, the 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 reportedly said that they welcome the 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.

The Saudi government had stopped issuing tourist visas in March 2020 when the travel bans were imposed as a consequence of the pandemic, which was soon after it took a major step towards building a tourism industry for the first time in 2019.

Saudi Arabia lifts ban from 11 countries

Saudi Arabia lifted a ban on travellers arriving from 11 countries recently. The ban was imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Travellers from the United Arab Emirates, Germany, the United States, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, France and Japan, have been allowed to enter the country.

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

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.

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 ban, effective from February 3, included people arriving from Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, the United States of America, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, Brazil, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Lebanon, Egypt, India, and Japan.

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.