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Planes preparing for take off at Riyadh King Khalid Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation has instructed all airlines operating at the country’s airports to update entry procedures for residents and visitors from green list countries, and to cut the period of institutional quarantine.

The updated procedures are as follows:

  • Unvaccinated travellers and those who received one dose of the approved vaccines in the kingdom are allowed to enter, provided that they submit a negative PCR test result, 72 hours before arriving in the Kingdom the latest. Institutional quarantine procedures are applied to them for five days.
  • A COVID-19 test is conducted within 24 hours of arriving and another test on the fifth day after arrival. The traveller must adhere to the times of COVID-19 tests based on what appears on the Tawakkalna app.
  • The institutional quarantine period ends when they test negative. Institutional quarantine procedures are applied to them for five days.

The Civil Aviation Authority clarified that escorts are allowed to enter with their relatives, based on the following:

  • Unvaccinated travellers under the age of 18 are subject to home quarantine for five days, provided that a coronavirus test (for those who are eight years old and above) is conducted on the fifth day after arrival, and are committed to applying all precautionary measures determined by the Ministry of Health.
  • Institutional quarantine is applied to unvaccinated escorts who are 18 years of age or older.

The updates will be effective as of Thursday, September 23, at 12 noon.

The authority stressed that residents in the Kingdom must take the full vaccine doses available in the country after the end of the institutional quarantine period.

It added whoever takes one of the vaccines approved by the WHO but not approved in the Kingdom (Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines) should get a booster dose of a vaccine available in the kingdom after arrival.

Passengers must register on the Qdoom app before arriving in the Kingdom, it said, adding that quarantine will be applied according to the protocols of the Ministry of Health for those testing positive during the institutional quarantine.

Recovery from infection with the coronavirus is not a justification for not applying quarantine, the authority said.

The Civil Aviation Authority said the home quarantine for citizens has been changed to apply to the unvaccinated who should be home quarantined for five days.

A COVID-19 PCR test is conducted on the 5th day with the application of the precautionary measures determined by the Ministry of Health.

The authority stressed only people fully vaccinated with a Saudi-approved vaccine are allowed to enter government or private facilities, join activities or events and use of public transportation.