Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday that it would start allowing direct entry to six countries, namely Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, India, Brazil, and Vietnam, from December 1, 2021.
However, among these six countries, there are differences in the duration of the quarantine in effect, where travelers from Indonesia, Pakistan, and India must undergo 14 days of quarantine in a third country. At the same time, those from Brazil and Vietnam only need to spend five days in constitutional quarantine, regardless of their immunization status from outside the Kingdom.
An official source of the Ministry of Interior said they would continue to apply previously issued exceptions regarding quarantine for specific categories of travelers. Several countries are still facing travel bans to the Kingdom, including Turkey, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Lebanon.
The source stressed the importance of continuing to adhere to the implementation of all precautions and preventive protocols that have been taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The Kingdom decided by continuing to follow up on the pandemic situation locally and globally and after examining reports from the Saudi Arabian health authorities regarding the development of the Covid-19 pandemic and the stability of the epidemiological situation in several countries.
Earlier on August 24, the Ministry of Interior had been directed to issue direct entry permits for fully vaccinated expatriates from countries facing travel bans. However, the decision only applies to foreigners who have a valid residence permit (iqama) and left the Kingdom with an exit and re-entry visa after taking two doses of the vaccine against coronavirus from Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended all international flights since March 15, 2020, following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The ban was later lifted on May 17, 2021, although it is still in effect in 20 countries due to the coronavirus situation in those countries.
Not only that, those who come from other countries and have passed these 20 countries within 14 days before entering the Kingdom are required to quarantine in a third country for 14 days.