Saudi Arabia allows direct entry from Pakistan, other countries

Travellers would have to quarantine for five days in government-approved accommodation, says official statement


Saudi Arabia will allow direct entry to travellers from Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Vietnam, Egypt and India from Dec 1, lifting a requirement that they first spend two weeks outside the six countries, state news agency SPA said on Thursday.

Citing an interior ministry official, the agency said travellers would have to quarantine for five days in government-approved accommodation after arriving, regardless of their Covid-19 vaccination status.

Earlier in August, Saudi Arabia had relaxed Covid-19 related restrictions for fully vaccinated expats allowing them to directly enter the kingdom from countries facing travel bans including Pakistan.

The decision was applicable only to those foreigners who have a valid residency permit (iqama) and left the kingdom on exit and re-entry visa after taking two doses of vaccine against coronavirus from Saudi Arabia.

On Oct 16, the Saudi Ministry of Interior announced the easing of restrictions across the kingdom, including those affecting the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s (PBUH) Mosque in Madina, allowing a full return to operations and capacity.

The kingdom lifted social distancing measures and allowed full-capacity attendance at the country’s two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madina for those who have taken the full dose of vaccines, the ministry added.

The authorities also cancelled curbs on fully vaccinated people at closed venues, gatherings, transportation, restaurants and cinemas.

Masks are no longer mandatory at public open places while still imposed at closed venues, it added.

(With input from News Desk)

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