Saudi Arabia to bear COVID treatment expenses for traveling residents, GCC citizens

Riyadh: Saudi general authority of civil aviation (GACA) announced on Monday that it will bear all the expenses for the COVID-19 treatment for traveling residents and the Gulf cooperation council (GCC) who needs to be admitted to the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 during their institutional quarantine upon arrival to the Kingdom, local media house reported.

For those passengers who arrive on a visitor visa, the treatment expenses for the COVID-19 will be covered by the insurance company.

GACA on Monday issued a guideline for travelers who are not Saudi citizens and those from exempted groups who are not immunized, and those coming from countries from which entry has not been suspended.

The guideline states that all passengers who test positive for COVID-19 may experience isolation in institutional quarantine for a period of (10-14) days, depending on their health condition for those whose health condition does not require hospitalization.

According to the guideline, all aircraft carriers must announce on their websites that the Saudi government needs institutional quarantine for countries intending to travel to the country and also obtain medical insurance to treat them for COVID-19 treatment.

Violators of isolation instruction or quarantine will be punished with a fine of SR 200,000 or imprisonment for a period of two years or more, and double the fine in case of re-theft.

Non-Saudi violators will be deported from the country and will be barred from entering indefinitely once the individual has been convicted.

The institutional quarantine will be in the city of arrival.

Travelers planning to travel to Saudi Arabia must have medical insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment. Residents and GCC citizens will be exempt from obtaining insurance.

Insurance should cover the cost of outpatient clinics, emergencies and treatment in hospitals including institutional quarantine for a period of up to 14 days.

Passengers who do not meet the requirements will be sent back to the destination from which they departed, and the air carrier will bear the costs.

The status of vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers at the departing airport will be verified by the air carrier.

They are responsible for verifying the health status of the passengers according to the passengers’ documentation and the extent to which they meet the required terms and conditions by the ministry of health before issuing the boarding pass. Upon arrival in the kingdom, the ministry of health will inspect the health.

Upon arrival in Saudi Arabia, passengers are required to show proof of vaccination with one of the vaccines – two doses of Pfizer Biotech, two doses of Oxford AstraZeneca, two doses of Moderna, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson.

Vaccine certificates must be verified by the country’s public health department, which provided vaccinations to incoming travelers, and the period between receiving the last dose (the second dose of two doses of the vaccine or a single dose of the vaccine).

The first dose should not be less than 14 days before leaving for Saudi Arabia. Vaccine certificates can be verified upon arrival at the kingdom’s outposts.

Travelers are required to carry their vaccine certificate at all times during their stay in the Kingdom (or proof of health status through applications and accredited programs in the Kingdom).

Failure to comply with these rules and regulations will result in travelers being barred from entering the country as well as facing legal obligations.