While taking care of the preventive measurements against COVID-19, Saudi Arabia closed its borders (Land, Sea, Air) on December 20, 2020; initially, the borders were closed for one week till December 27, 2020. But after discovering a new mutation of COVID-19 in more than ten countries of the world, the Saudi Government had to close the borders for some time. However at that time few Guidelines regarding international travel were issued but now Saudia has issued new one specially for 38 Countries including Pakistan and India.
On January 2, 2021, Saudi Arabia announced that all the borders would reopen on January 3, 2021 (Sunday), and airlines will be able to take passengers to and from Saudi Arabia under the strict guidelines while taking care of the COVID-19 preventive measurements but due to the excessive spread of the global pandemic Ministry of Health and Ministry of interior decided to extend the date to May 17, 2021
Travel Guidelines for Countries including India and Pakistan
Saudi Arabian Airlines has issued travel guidelines and requirements for 38 countries worldwide, following the Interior Ministry’s announcement to end international travel suspensions for certain groups starting at 1 am on Monday, May 17. However permits will be issued to only those who got their vaccine in time.
Moreover, According to the guideline, which was made public through its website, the national carrier said that passengers must check their eligibility to travel to the respective countries and obtain the required permits and permits if needed.
However, The terms and conditions are subject to repeated updates without prior notice, the airline said. Passengers will also need to check the latest information on travel conditions and guidelines from official and authorized sources before traveling.
PCR Medical Examination Report is Compulsory for Saudi Citizens to travel in these 38 Countries
Saudi Arabia also noted that travelers must obtain a PCR medical examination certificate from one of the country’s recognized examination centers. The following countries cover travel directions:
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
Confusion among Expats Regarding the Decision
However, Despite the Clear wording, there is a confusion among Expats. However, These Travel Guidelines are not for Expat COMING from these Countries. Moreover, These are for Saudi Citizens who wants to travel to these countries.
According to a recent Interior Ministry statement, the following three categories of citizens will be allowed to benefit from the decision to lift the travel ban outside the country.
Firstly, Citizens who received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine or those who confirmed 14 days after receiving the first dose of the vaccine from the data shown on the Towcalcan application.
Secondly, Citizens who have recovered from coronavirus infection, provided they have spent less than six months after illness, as confirmed by the data displayed on the Tawakkalna app.
Thirdly, Citizens under the age of 18, provided they submit an insurance policy approved by the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia before traveling, which covers the risks of COVID-19 outside Saudi Arabia following the instructions issued by the relevant authorities ۔
These people have to stay under house arrest for seven days after returning to the kingdom and undergo a PCR test at the end of the critical period, while children under the age of eight are exempt from the PCR test.
The guidelines for this category of citizens are subject to amendment following the Ministry of Health guidelines.