Saudi updates rules for airline passengers arriving from non red-list countries
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Saudi updates rules for airline passengers arriving from non red-list countries

Saudi updates rules for airline passengers arriving from non red-list countries

Those who are not vaccinated or have received only one dose will need to undergo institutional quarantine for five days

Saudi Arabia Airport

Saudi’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has issued new regulations regarding the entry of airline passengers from destinations not on the kingdom’s banned list.

A non-vaccinated individual or someone who has received only one dose of the approved vaccines in the kingdom who submits a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure for Saudi, will need to undergo institutional quarantine only for five days.

GACA also stated that an individual who has taken a Covid-19 vaccine not approved in Saudi Arabia will also need to submit a negative PCR test – taken within 72 hours before departure – and undergo five days of institutional quarantine.

In both cases, the individual will need to take two PCR tests post-arrival in Saudi – the first within 24 hours of landing and the second on the fifth day of the institutional quarantine.

The quarantine will end with the second negative PCR result, taken in Saudi Arabia.

GACA stressed that residents who have taken only one dose of the vaccine must take the second one in the kingdom after the end of the institutional quarantine. It also stated that those who have taken vaccines approved by the WHO, but not approved in the kingdom (including Sinopharm and Sinovac) should receive a booster dose from one of the vaccines available in the kingdom after arrival.

The authority also issued new procedures for dependents travelling into the country.

First: Unvaccinated dependents aged under 18 shall be subject to home quarantine procedures for five days. A PCR test shall be taken on the fifth day. This is in addition to implementing all precautionary measures approved by the Ministry of Health.

Second: Institutional quarantine procedures are applied to unvaccinated dependents aged 18 or older.

This will be effective as of Thursday, September 23, 2021, at 12 noon, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

All passengers are required to register in the Quddum platform before arriving in Saudi Arabia and quarantine procedures will be applied according to the protocols of the Ministry of Health for those who show a positive PCR test during the period of institutional quarantine.

GACA also clarified that recovery from Covid-19 is “not considered as a justification for not applying the institutional quarantine”, the SPA report said.

For Saudi citizens, all non-vaccinated individuals will have to undergo home quarantine for five days. A PCR test shall be taken on the fifth day.

GACA also stressed that according to the regulation in the country, only those who received one of the vaccines approved in Saudi Arabia can enter all places, activities, events and government and private facilities and use public transportation.

Read: Saudi Arabia levies Covid-19 vaccine mandate

Late last month, Saudi announced that expats who are fully vaccinated can return directly to the kingdom, including those travelling from countries facing a travel ban. However, only expats with valid residency documents who received two doses of the vaccine in Saudi Arabia before they departed for their home country were permitted to return.

Read: Saudi permits fully vaccinated expats to return from countries facing travel ban including UAE, India

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