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Saudi Arabia to require arriving visitors to quarantine for a week

KARACHI: Foreigners travelling to Saudi Arabia must quarantine for a week in government-approved accommodation starting May 20 to combat the spread of COVID-19, the Saudi civil aviation authority (GACA) said on Monday.

As the kingdom reopens, exempted individuals such as Saudi citizens, flight crews and diplomats will have to quarantine at home unless they are vaccinated, state news agency SPA said, citing an interior ministry official.

Airlines are required to contract accommodation approved by the tourism ministry to house people in quarantine. The cost will be added to the airfare.

Fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine if they present a vaccination certificate. Non-Saudi travelers over 8 years old must show a negative PCR COVID-19 test result less than 72 hours old.

It is pertinent to mention here that in a bid to boost its tourism sector, Saudi Arabia has decided to reopen its land, sea and air borders for foreign tourists.

Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Tourism for Strategy and Investment Princess Haifa Al Saud said that Riyadh will start receiving foreign tourists from 17th of May.

“As many as 93 new companies have entered the Kingdom’s tourism market and the government has provided SR120 billion as incentives for the sector to counter the effects of coronavirus,” Princess Haifa said, adding that the volume of domestic spending on tourism increased by 33 per cent over the past summer.

She maintained that the kingdom’s tourism sector started receiving foreign tourists in 2019. “However, during the coronavirus pandemic, our first task was the safety and security of citizens and expatriates in Saudi Arabia, and we were able to provide the vaccine and reached a stage that enabled us to open the land and airports.”



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