An official source at the ministry said in comments published by the Saudi Press Agency that visitors from the UAE, Germany, the United States, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the UK, Sweden, Switzerland, France and Japan are now allowed to enter the Kingdom.
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The announcement is based on the Public Health Authority’s report regarding the “epidemiological situation in a number of declared countries, which showed stability and effectiveness in controlling the pandemic in some of these countries”, a statement said.
Encouraging foreign tourism is a key factor in the kingdom’s efforts to reduce its reliance on oil. In September 2019, it threw open its borders after having long been one of the hardest countries in the world to visit unless coming on a pilgrimage.
It wants the sector to contribute 10 percent of gross domestic product by 2030, but the virus has crimped those plans. After limiting incoming tourism in February 2020, authorities suspended all incoming and outgoing travel to try to contain the virus’s spread.
Earlier this month the Kingdom reopened its borders for international travel amid strict restrictions designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Saudi Arabia has set itself an ambitious target to welcome 100 million visits to the country by 2030, made up of a 45 million and 55 million split between international and domestic visits, respectively, and including leisure, work and religious stays.
Passengers arriving in Saudi Arabia must provide a vaccination certificate showing they have received an approved shot, according to guidelines issued by the General Authority of Civil Aviation earlier this month. Approved vaccines include Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.
All non-Saudi passengers over the age of eight must submit a negative PCR coronavirus test that has been completed within 72 hours of boarding the flight.
On arrival, passengers – except those exempt – must complete quarantine at an approved facility at their own cost for seven days. A PCR test must be done on the seventh day, and if the test is negative, travellers can exit quarantine the next day.
For those who must quarantine, they must do so in the city of arrival, and reservation of institutional quarantine will be made through the air carriers.
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