Faizel Patel – 14/09/2020
As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom has announced that it would lift all restrictions on citizens leaving and returning to the Kingdom, including opening all spheres of land, sea and air travel from January 2021 in line with the coronavirus-related precautionary measures and protocols.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reports that the decision was taken by the Interior Ministry based on reports by authorities regarding developments in combating the pandemic in the Kingdom.
An Interior Ministry spokesperson says the decision also lays emphasis on the government’s keenness for the safety and health of citizens in light of the possibility of not having a safe and effective vaccine to prevent this disease before the end of 2020.
Some of the regulations attached to the decision include:
- Citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council States will be allowed to enter and exit the Kingdom.
- Non-Saudis who have exit and reentry visas, work visas, residency permit or visit visas will also be allowed to enter provided that their entry is in accordance with the preventive health protocols and procedures set by the committee concerned with taking measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the Kingdom.
- The controls include not allowing anyone to enter the territory of the Kingdom, except after submitting evidence that they are free from coronavirus infection based on a report of medical test carried out 48 hours before the moment of arrival in the Kingdom.
- There will be a partial lifting of the suspension of international flights starting 15 September to and from the Kingdom and the opening of land, sea and airports, allowing the exempted groups of citizens and others to enter and leave the Kingdom.
Meanwhile and according to Haramain Info, a planned resumption of Umrah in Makkah is also expected to be announced soon.