Saudi's GACA instructs airlines to verify vaccination status of residents pre-departure
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Saudi’s GACA instructs airlines to verify vaccination status of residents pre-departure

Saudi’s GACA instructs airlines to verify vaccination status of residents pre-departure

The authority warned that those found violating the procedures will face legal action

Saudi Arabia’s aviation authority has instructed airlines to follow a specific set of procedures for verifying the immunisation status of residents before they board planes travelling into the kingdom.

All airlines operating in the kingdom’s airports, including private aviation providers, will need to check the immunisation status of residents flying into Saudi via the ‘Tawakkalna’ application, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said in a circular.

Passengers can optionally submit a report proving immunisation in the kingdom via the ‘Quddum’ platform.

The GACA warned that those found violating the procedures will face legal action.

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

Last week, it also 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.

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, it said.

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.

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

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