Saudi Arabia lifts COVID-19 restrictions
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), a ministry official said that the decision was made based on developments in the epidemiological situation of the virus, the competent health authorities’ feedback, the progress that has been achieved in combatting the pandemic, the unlimited support of the leadership, the effective national efforts from all sides, the progress in the national vaccination programme and the high rates of immunisation and immunity achieved across the community.
According to the statement, Saudi Arabia will be suspending social distancing measures in the Grand Holy Mosque, the Prophet’s Holy Mosque, mosques, while continuing to abide by wearing masks inside these facilities, as well as lifting social distancing measures in all open and closed places, activities, and events.
The official went on to explain that people will not be required to wear masks in open areas, however, wearing masks is still mandatory in closed places.
Moreover, passengers arriving in the Kingdom will no longer be required to present PCR test or rapid antigen test results, while those arriving in the Kingdom on visit visas are required to have medical insurance to cover any incurred COVID-19 treatment costs during their stay in the Kingdom.
Institutional and home quarantine measures for passengers arriving in the Kingdom have also been lifted.
The ministry also lifted the suspension on direct arrival to the Kingdom, and the suspension of all flights arriving in and departing from the Kingdom from/to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia, Madagascar, Angola, Seychelles, Comoros, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan.
The official stressed the importance of the implementation of the national immunisation plan, which includes taking the booster dose, and implementing procedures to verify the health status on the Tawakkalna app to enter facilities and events and board planes and public transportation, adding that these new measures are subject to continuous evaluation by the competent health authorities in the Kingdom, in line with developments in the epidemiological situation.