RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has announced lifting a travel ban from six countries including India and Pakistan introduced to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saudi Arabia will allow direct entry to travellers from Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Vietnam, Egypt and India from December 1, lifting a requirement that they first spend two weeks outside in another country.
Saudi state-owned agency citing an interior ministry official said travellers would have to quarantine for five days in government-approved accommodation after arriving, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status. The source stressed the importance of adhering to the application of all precautionary and preventive measures adopted.
The ministry said that the decision was an update to a previous announcement regarding the temporary suspension of direct entry from some countries to the Kingdom, in an effort to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
The decision was also made after “continuous evaluation by the Kingdom’s competent health authorities, according to the developments in the epidemiological situation globally,” according to the ministry statement.
Earlier in February, the direct entry ban was imposed due to a global spike in COVID-19 cases. The ban covered Lebanon, UAE, Egypt, Turkey, the US, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, Pakistan, South Africa, India, Indonesia and Japan.
The travel ban also applied to travellers who transited through any of the 20 countries in the 14 days before a planned visit to the country.