Saudi Arabia allows direct entry from India, 5 other countries

Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior on Thursday announced the direct entry into the Kingdom from India and 5 other countries, without having to spend 14 days in a third country.

The new directive will come into force as of one o’clock in the morning on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported

The countries that will now have direct entry to the Kingdom are India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil , Vietnam and Egypt. However, the passengers still need to quarantine for five days within the country after they land, regardless of their vaccination status outside the Kingdom.

The ministry said the decision was based on the kingdom’s evaluation of the current COVID-19 situation.

The ministry stressed the importance of adhering to all the precautionary and preventive measures adopted to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“All procedures and measures are subject to continuous evaluation by the competent health authorities in the Kingdom in accordance with the developments in the epidemiological situation across the world,” the state agency quoted ministry statement.

On March 15, 2020, Saudi Arabia suspended all international flights, excluding diplomats, Saudi nationals, medical staff, and their families, to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

On May 17, 2021, the suspension of international flight service lifted after one year, it was not applicable to 20 countries due to the COVID-19 situation in those countries.

The list of 20 banned countries included India, the US, Egypt, Pakistan, Argentina, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, France, Italy, Portugal, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Lebanon, UAE, and Turkey

On June 6, Saudi Arabia lifted the travel ban from eleven countries (United Arab Emirates, Germany, United States, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, France, and Japan).

On July 19, 2021, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia banned the direct entry of expatriates from nine countries facing travel bans unless they spend two weeks in a third country after leaving these countries.