Saturday 21 May 2022

Saudi to resume international flights after Jan 1

RIYADH, September 14, 2020

Saudi Arabia will allow its citizens to exit and re-enter the kingdom through all land, sea, and air ports after January 1, 2021, provided that all coronavirus-related precautionary measures are followed, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) has reported.

However, the Royal approval allows certain catergories of individuals to travel to or from the kingdom with stringent health precautions from Tuesday (Sept 15).

The approval allows entry to and departure from the kingdom for citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states as well as non-Saudis who obtain any of the following visas: exit and re-entry, work permit, Iqama (resident permit) or visit. 
The entry of the GCC citizens and non-Saudis into the kingdom is subject to the preventive health measures taken by the relevant committee to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the kingdom. The requirements include that anyone who enters the kingdom must submit a proof that he/she is Covid-19 infection-free according to a most recent medical test conducted by a reliable entity outside the kingdom. This test must not have been done 48 hours before arrival in the kingdom, said the Saudi Press Agency.
The suspension of international flights coming to or leaving the kingdom and the opening of land, sea and air outlets will be partially lifted to allow the excluded categories of citizens and others to enter and depart the kingdom, it said.

An official source of the Saudi Ministry of Interior announced that a royal approval has stated that lifting of complete restrictions, previously imposed due to the spread of coronavirus Covid-19, on the departure and return of citizens to and from the Kingdom and allowing the opening of air, sea and land outlets will take place after the first of January 2021, reported Emirates News Agency Wam.

"Completely lifting the restrictions on citizens leaving and returning to the Kingdom, and allowing the opening of ports for the crossing of all means of transport through land, sea and air ports, after January 1, 2021, while adhering to the current coronavirus precautionary procedures," SPA said.

"The specific date and time for lifting the suspension will be announced 30 days prior to January 1, 2021. The Ministry of Health may, should it be required, request to put in place certain preventative health requirements for travellers and carriers during travel, and in the halls of airports, ports, and stations," SPA added.

The following categories of citizens will also be allowed to travel outside the kingdom and return according to certain requirements from Tuesday:

* Civilian and military governmental employees, assigned to official tasks;
* Personnel at the Saudi diplomatic and consular missions as well as attachés abroad and personnel at the regional and international organizations, their families and companions;
* Personnel at permanent jobs, in public, private or non-profit facilities, outside the kingdom, and those who have job tasks in companies or commercial institutions outside the kingdom;
* Businesspersons whose business requires travel to conclude commercial and/or industrial activities as well as export, marketing and sales directors whose tasks oblige them to visit clients;
* Patients whose treatment requires the travel outside the kingdom, based on medical reports, particularly cancer patients and patients in need of organ transplantation;
* Students on scholarships, or those studying at their own expense and trainees on medical fellowship programs whose studies or training require travel to the countries in which they study or train and their dependents;
* Those who have humane cases, particularly related to the following two: A male or female citizen who seeks reunification with his/her relatives residing outside the kingdom; and the death of a husband, wife, parent, or child outside the kingdom.
* Expatriates outside the kingdom and their dependents who could show evidence of their legal residence outside the kingdom;
* Participants in regional and international official sporting events, including players and members of technical and administrative staff.


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