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Saudi Arabia Gradually Lifts Travel Restrictions

Saudi Arabia Gradually Lifts Travel Restrictions

Wednesday, 16 September, 2020 - 08:45
FILE PHOTO: General view of a terminal of Jeddah airport, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Kalin/File Photo

Saudi Arabia is gradually lifting the travel ban, by allowing a specific group of people to enter and exit the Kingdom before January 1, the expected date of the complete reopening of the land, maritime and air borders.


The exact date for lifting the suspension of travel and allowing the land, sea and air transport shall be announced 30 days before January 1, 2021.


People exempted from the decision, who will be allowed to enter and exit the Kingdom before that date, include GCC citizens, non-Saudi visa holders, ill Saudis who need treatment abroad, Saudi students, diplomats and businessmen. However, they need to show a negative PCR test before boarding flights or enter the Kingdom’s sea and land ports.


The Saudi Civil Aviation Authority announced on Tuesday the launch of the first flights from the Kingdom amid tight health instructions, including a home quarantine for seven days for all passengers arriving in Saudi Arabia and three days for health practitioners with a negative sample at the end of the quarantine period.


The authority stressed that failure to comply with the instructions would lead to the imposition of penalties, including a fine that could reach 500,000 Saudi riyals (USD133,000), or imprisonment for two years or the two penalties together, for those who breach the seven-day home quarantine.


The authority also stressed that any traveler coming to Saudi Arabia would have to submit a negative PCR test from a reliable party outside the Kingdom, before boarding flights or entering the Kingdom’s sea and land ports.


The authority obliged all airlines operating in the Kingdom to distribute an updated form from the Ministry of Health to inbound passengers before reaching the Kingdom’s airports.


In the form, which should be submitted to the health control center upon arrival at the airport, passengers acknowledge that they do not suffer from any respiratory symptoms, high temperature, or any of the other Covid-19 symptoms; that they would comply with the seven-day quarantine period and submit a negative PCR test at the end of the quarantine.


The conditions also included adding location of home on Tetamman App within eight hours after the arrival of the passenger; monitoring symptoms of coronavirus; calling 937 immediately in the event of noticing any of the symptoms or going to the health center when necessary; and getting access to Tetamman to do health assessment on a daily basis.


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