Saudi Arabia Lifts All COVID-19 Entry Restrictions For Tourists

Jeddah

The Saudi Arabian government has lifted all COVID-related entry restrictions for holders of tourism visas, according to the Saudi Tourism Authority.

With the move, Saudi Arabia becomes “one of the most accessible destinations to travelers in the world,” the authority said in a press release.

Effective immediately, visitors to Saudi will no longer need to present proof of vaccination or a PCR test to enter the country.

Institutional quarantine requirements are also being entirely removed, and all travelers from the countries currently red-listed will be allowed entry.

Social distancing rules are set to be lifted across the country as well, while facemasks will only be required in enclosed public places.

“We welcome this decision by the central government, which protects both lives and livelihoods while welcoming travelers back to Saudi,” said Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“The return to pre-pandemic levels of openness was made possible by our country’s ambitious vaccination program and other successful efforts to minimize the spread of the virus. By reducing costs and inconveniences for travelers, we are also supporting the many thousands of people who depend on tourism, while driving revenue to companies that have been severely affected by the pandemic,” he added

Fees for all visa categories will now include a nominal fee for medical insurance for COVID-19.

Prior to the easing of regulations, Saudi Arabia visitors were required to submit a negative PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before arrival, while quarantine was required for visitors from some countries and others were red-listed due to the prevalence of COVID-19.

According to the tourism authority, the lifting of restrictions marks the most comprehensive update to travel regulations since Saudi opened to international travelers in September 2019.

With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting less than six months after the opening, the country closed its borders again in 2020, shifting its tourism strategy to focus on building domestic visitation, opening 11 destination and creating more than 270 tourism packages.

“As a result, Saudi recorded two successive years of growth in leisure travel without seeing a concomitant surge in COVID cases,” the Saudi Tourism Authority said.

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