Saudi Arabia to reopen its borders for foreign tourists after a 17-month closure

Published on : Saturday, July 31, 2021

Saudi Arabia will reopen its borders for foreign tourists following a 17-month closure in the wake of the corona virus pandemic on August 1.

However, the Saudi Kingdom has reopened its borders for only fully vaccinated tourists. The Ministry of Tourism said that the Kingdom will open its doors to foreign tourists, and lift entry suspension for tourist visa holders, starting from August 1.

According to the Kingdom’s Tourism Ministry, travelers who are fully vaccinated with Saudi-approved jabs, that is, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, will be allowed to enter the country without requiring an institutional quarantine.

Those willing to get a tourist visa can apply through the “Spirit of Saudi” website,
Tourists would also need to carry a negative RT-PCR Covid-19 test taken within the last 72 hours and register their details with health authorities.

According to the Saudi embassy, nationals of the countries specified below may get hold of an E-visa (online) through the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage website, or upon arrival at any of Saudi Arabia’s ports of entry: Canada, the United States, Brunei, China (Hong Kong, Taipei, Macau), Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

The Covid-19 outbreak has largely disrupted the hajj and umrah pilgrimages, which are usually important revenue earners for the kingdom. In normal times, they together fetch around $12 billion (10.3 billion Euros) annually.

Currently, only vaccinated pilgrims living in Saudi Arabia are entitled for umrah permits.

So far, 26 million jabs have been administered to the population of 35 million in the Kingdom. The Saudi government has said that vaccinations are compulsory to enter government and private establishments, including education institutions and entertainment venues, as well as to use public transport from August 1.

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