Dubai: Saudi Arabia has announced that all passengers, who test positive for COVID-19 and do not require hospitalisation, will need to go into institutional quarantine for a period of 10-14 days, depending on the state of their recovery.
According to updated guidelines, all air carriers must announce on their websites that the Saudi government requires institutional quarantine for those who test positive on arrival and that all travellers must, also, obtain medical insurance to cover their COVID-19 treatment.
However, domestic workers accompanying diplomats and their families in Saudi Arabia will be exempt from institutional quarantine, the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has said.
Those holding diplomatic visas, their families and their domestic workers need to adhere to quarantine procedures at their homes in accordance with regulations approved by the Ministry of Health, according to the updated GACA guidelines.
Violators of isolation instructions or quarantine shall be fined 200,000 riyals or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or both, and in the event of a repeat violation, the penalty shall be doubled.
Non-Saudi violators will be deported from the Kingdom and banned from entering indefinitely after completing their sentences.
Travellers planning to visit Saudi Arabia should also have medical insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment. Residents and GCC citizens shall be excluded from obtaining the insurance.
The insurance should cover the costs of treatment in outpatient clinics and hospitals, including institutional quarantine for a period of up to 14 days.
Passengers who do not meet the requirements shall be sent back to the destination from where they had departed, and the air carrier shall bear the costs.
Saudi Arabia requires upon arrival that passengers show proof of vaccination with one of the flowing vaccines — two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, two doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca, two doses of Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s.
Vaccine certificates are required to be attested by official health authorities from the country that provided the vaccination for incoming passengers, and the duration between receiving the last dose (the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or the first dose of a single-dose vaccine) should not be less than 14 days before travelling to Saudi Arabia. Vaccine certificates may be verified upon arrival at the checkpoints of the Kingdom.
Travellers must carry their certificates at all times during their stay in the Kingdom (or proof of health status through applications and accredited programmes in the Kingdom). Failure to comply with these regulations will subject the travellers to legal liabilities in addition to being banned from entry into the Kingdom.