Monday, September 27, 2021

Saudi Arabia updates entry mechanisms for airline passengers

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RIYADH: The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) of Saudi Arabia has updated the entry mechanism and procedures for airline passengers arriving in the Kingdom related to efforts in curbing the COVID-19.

The new measures will be enforced from Thursday (September 16.)

In an instruction sent to all airlines operating in the Kingdom, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said that passengers who received at least a dose of approved COVID-19 vaccines in the Kingdom would be allowed provided that a passenger submits a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before the flight.

The passenger must also undergo institutional quarantine for five days and must take a PCR test within 24 hours upon arrival and also the fifth day. The individual should take notice of the time their tests were taken through the Tawakkalna application.

The period of institutional quarantine ends with the appearance of a negative test result, GACA said.

The civilian aviation body also noted the same rules would apply to passengers who have been inoculated with at least a dose of vaccines neither approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) nor Saudi Arabia’s health authorities, or by a WHO-approved jab but not approved in the Kingdom.

GACA meanwhile said that unvaccinated dependents below 18 years old traveling with fully vaccinated relatives are subject to a five-day home quarantine and must take a PCR test on the fifth day.

Unvaccinated dependents who are eighteen years of age or older must undergo institutional quarantine, GACA added.

The authority also emphasized that passengers who finished their institutional quarantine must complete their COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Individuals who were given the Sinopharm and the Sinovac vaccines – currently not approved in Saudi Arabia – should obtain a booster dose from one of the vaccines available in the Kingdom after arrival, GACA added.

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