Saudi Arabia to lift entry ban from six countries, including Egypt, Pakistan and India

All passengers who enter the Kingdom must undergo 5 days of institutional quarantine

General view of the new terminal of Jeddah airport, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia September 19, 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose.

General view of the new terminal of Jeddah airport, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia September 19, 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Stephen Kalin
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Thursday announced that it will lift an entry ban on expats from six countries that was introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior issued directives to allow direct entry for fully vaccinated expatriates from Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Vietnam, Egypt, and India without the need to spend 14 days in transit outside their countries before entering the Kingdom. The changes will commence at 1 a.m. on Dec. 1.

Expats arriving from these countries must spend five days in quarantine regardless of their vaccination status outside the Kingdom.

The MOI explained that all procedures and measures are subject to continuous evaluation by the Kingdom’s health authorities.

The ministry added that expatriates hoping to return to the Kingdom should undergo all health measures to ensure they are free from infection.

Last February, the direct entry ban was imposed due to a global surge in cases linked to variants detected in Britain, South Africa, and Brazil, with fears that vaccines being rolled out worldwide could be less effective against them.

The ban covered the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, the US, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Japan.

Exceptions to the ban included diplomats, medical staff, and their families.

The ban also applied to travelers who transited through any of the 20 countries in the 14 days before a planned visit to the Kingdom.

Flights to and from the Kingdom were first suspended on March 14, 2020, two weeks after the World Health Organization declared that the coronavirus outbreak was a pandemic.

Entry to Saudi Arabia by air, land, and sea resumed on Jan. 3, 2021.

Copyright: Arab News © 2021 All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (

Disclaimer: The content of this article is syndicated or provided to this website from an external third party provider. We are not responsible for, and do not control, such external websites, entities, applications or media publishers. The body of the text is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis and has not been edited in any way. Neither we nor our affiliates guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views or opinions expressed in this article. Read our full disclaimer policy here.

More From Policy