COVID-19: Saudi Arabia bans unvaccinated citizens from travelling abroad

Riyadh Skyline
Riyadh Skyline Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced that only fully vaccinated citizens will be allowed to travel abroad as of August 9.

The decision was announced in a circular issued by the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to all airlines operating in the Kingdom’s airports, including government and private airlines.

In its latest update on travel procedures for citizens travelling outside the Kingdom on international flights, GACA said that only citizens who took two doses of any of the coronavirus vaccines approved in the Kingdom will be allowed to travel abroad.

The decision exempts children under the age of 12 years, providing they hold health insurance approved by the Saudi Central Bank to cover treatment for coronavirus infection outside the Kingdom.

Also exempt are those who have recovered from coronavirus infection in the last six months, and those who have been infected with the virus and received one dose of the approved vaccines in the Kingdom.

Saudis travelling abroad must hold health insurance during their stay outside the country which covers treatment for coronavirus infection.

On Tuesday, the Kingdom announced a three-year travel ban on citizens who travel to red list countries. The Ministry of Interior warned that those who flout rules issued by official authorities will be held accountable and slapped with heavy fines.