29 September Friday

Saudi lifts ban on arrivals from 11 countries; India not on the list

Anas YassinUpdated: Sunday May 30, 2021

Manama:  Saudi Arabia lifted a ban on travellers arriving from 11 countries, which were put on the red list earlier, but will still require quarantine. However, the ban will continue on flights from nine countries, including India.

The countries include the UAE, USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Japan, would be allowed entry from Sunday, SPA reported on Saturday, quoting an Interior Ministry source.

The authorities moved them off the red list due to the countries’ efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus. The decision came into force on Sunday morning.

All international passengers arriving in Saudi Arabia must undergo seven days of institutional quarantine at their own expense, starting from the time of arrival at quarantine facilities in the Kingdom.

They must take a PCR test on the seventh day of arrival, and if the result is negative, they are permitted to leave quarantine the next day.

Saudi Arabia banned flights from 20 countries, including India and the UAE, on February 3, 2021. Prior to the ban, expats had entered Saudi via the UAE after 14 days of quarantine and covid tests. This option has now been no longer available as the UAE continues to ban flights from India since April.

Saudi Arabia requires travellers from banned countries to stay in quarantine for 14 days outside the country.

Meanwhile, not having entry permission to come to Saudi will make it difficult for Keralites waiting to be returned. After the UAE ban, many passengers had used Bahrain as a transit hub from countries where there are no direct flights to Saudi Arabia. However, Bahrain has restricted entry of travellers arriving from red list countries; India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. It has suspended the entry of people with visit visas from these five countries. Bahrainis and GCC nationals as well as resident visa holders are being allowed entry.