Dubai: All GCC countries, except for Kuwait, are allowing expats with valid residency permits, and even those with a valid visit visa to enter, if they follow health and precautionary measures established to curb the outbreak of COVID-19, Kuwaiti media reported.
Gulf countries announced various precautionary measures to combat the spread of coronavirus and prevent the entry of mutated strains in the country. Despite the ban by some Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and Oman on direct flights from certain countries with cases of mutated strains, resident workers were allowed to enter their countries with necessary quarantine periods.
On February 7, 2021, a Cabinet decision was issued banning entry of non-Kuwaitis for a period of two weeks. The decision was extended and is still in effect.
In September 2020, the Kingdom announced several exceptions, including allowing citizens of the Gulf countries to enter and exit. It also allowed entry to non-Saudis who obtained exit, return, work, residence, or visit visas, provided that they follow certain preventive health measures. Although Saudi Arabia extended the travel ban until May of this year, these exceptions are still in effect.
In August 2020, the UAE allowed the return of resident expats without a prior approval request, and it also allowed the entry of those with valid visas.
Early August 2020, Qatar allowed residents outside the country to return by applying for an exceptional entry permit. Moreover, residents who are in Qatar and wish to travel and then return to Qatar can do so by obtaining an exceptional entry permit.
As for expat workers in professional and manual professions, their employer in the public or private sectors can submit an application for an exceptional entry permit.
The latest travel update in Oman was announced this April, which allowed only those residents with visas issued before April 5 to enter the country.
Since last September, Bahrain announced that it would allow GCC residents to enter, as well as holders of electronic visas or those who can obtain a visa upon arrival in Bahrain while following health controls and requirements.