Saudi Arabia forbids unvaccinated citizens from international travel

Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on Wednesday announced that unvaccinated citizens will be barred from travelling overseas. The rule will be effective from August 9 (Muharram).

This directives came in a new circular issued by the Saudi general authority of civil aviation (GACA) to all airlines operating in the Kingdom’s airports, including public and private airlines, regarding updating citizens’ travel procedures outside the Kingdom on international flights.

GACA said that only citizens who took two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines approved in the Kingdom will be allowed to travel abroad.

According to the GACA statement, there is an exemption for children under the age of 12 years, they should submit an insurance policy approved by the Saudi central bank that covers the risks against COVID-19 infection outside the Kingdom.

It also excludes those who have recovered from infection with the COVID-19 in the past six months, and those who were infected with the virus and received one dose of the vaccines approved in the Kingdom.

On July 27, the Kingdom announced to impose a three-year travel ban on citizens who travel to countries who have been red listed by the Kingdom due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On July 17, the Kingdom banned the direct entry of expatriates from thirteen countries which are India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon.

The ministry of interior called on citizens not to travel directly or indirectly to countries where the COVID-19 pandemic has not been controlled and where there are cases of mutant strains.