Saudi Arabia: No quarantine for COVID-19 vaccinated travelers

Riyadh: Residents and visitors coming to Saudi Arabia will not have to undergo the mandatory quarantine if they passed the 14-day period after taking the doses of COVID-19 vaccines approved in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia’s general authority of civil aviation (GACA) said on Monday.

Travelers must also possess a certificate of vaccination certified by their country of origin to be exempt from quarantine. Approved vaccines are Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.

The GACA has set a seven-day quarantine for foreign travelers who have not yet been vaccinated.

Quarantine-free travel does not apply to arrivals from countries where high-risk variants have been detected.

A spokesman for the ministry of health, Dr. Muhammad Al-Abd Al-Ali, confirmed that COVID vaccines are safe, effective and necessary for protection. He also criticized the spread of misleading information surrounding them, saying that it constitutes an obstacle to achieving herd immunity.

While the civil aviation authority has alerted that it is the responsibility of the air carrier to educate travelers about the guidelines and requirements of those countries so that they can travel safe and healthy, taking into account the procedures and requirements imposed by other countries.

Earlier on Saturday, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced the entry of travelers arriving from eleven countries that it imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 starting from May 30.

Travelers from the United Arab EmiratesGermany, the United States, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, France and Japan, will be allowed entry from 1 am on May 30.

Earlier in the month of May, Saudi Arabia warned citizens against traveling to 13 countries without permission due to security concerns and instability in several countries, while the COVID-19 pandemic continued and new strains of the virus spread to some other countries.

The Saudi ministry of health on Monday reported 1,275 new cases, 15 more COVID-19-related deaths. There are 9,661 active cases, 1,438 of which are in critical condition and the death toll now stands at 7,362.