Saudi Arabia lifts all Covid entry curbs for tourists

All Covid-related entry restrictions have been lifted by Saudi Arabia for international travellers holding tourism visas.

Visitors to Saudi will no longer need to present proof of vaccination or a PCR test to enter the country.

Institutional quarantine requirements will be removed, and all travellers from the countries currently red-listed will be allowed entry.

Social distancing rules will be lifted across the country, including Makkah and Madinah, and masks will be required in enclosed public places only.

The abolition of restrictions on leisure, business and religious visitors marks the most comprehensive update to travel regulations since Saudi first opened to international travellers in September 2019, less than six months before its borders were closed due to the pandemic.

Fees for all visa categories will include a “nominal fee” for medical insurance for Covid-19.

Prior to the easing of regulations, visitors were required to submit a negative PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before arrival, while quarantine was required for visitors from some countries and others were red-listed due to the prevalence of Covid-19.

Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries to close its borders following the emergence of the pandemic in 2020.

The government has implemented stringent health and safety protocols at all public venues, including hotels, restaurants, public buildings and offices.

Tourism minister Ahmed Al Khateeb said: “We welcome this decision by the central government, which protects both lives and livelihoods while welcoming travellers back to Saudi.

“The return to pre-pandemic levels of openness was made possible by our country’s ambitious vaccination program and other successful efforts to minimise the spread of the virus.

“By reducing costs and inconveniences for travelers, we are also supporting the many thousands of people who depend on tourism, while driving revenue to companies that have been severely affected by the pandemic.”

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