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Updated 9 June 2021

Last month, Saudi Arabia lifted its air travel restrictions thereby allowing international flights to and from the kingdom to largely resume. However, this does not mean that all countries now have the privilege of entering Saudi Arabia. Conversely, Saudi travellers will also not be permitted to travel to certain countries where the pandemic is still considered out of control.   

 So which countries are banned from entering Saudi Arabia? Which countries Saudi travellers are prohibited from visiting? Read on to find out.

Countries banned by Saudi Arabia

Following the flight reopening, 20 countries were originally banned by the Saudi government. However, upon further evaluation, the Saudi government decided to remove 11 entries from the list due to the stability in the epidemiological scene and effective pandemic-controlling efforts in those countries.

The remaining countries on the ban list are as follows:

  • Argentina 
  • Brazil 
  • Egypt 
  • India 
  • Indonesia 
  • Lebanon 
  • Pakistan 
  • South Africa 
  • Turkey

 

Countries on Saudi Arabia’s ‘no-go’ list

The Saudi authorities have placed the following countries on the ‘red list,’ effectively prohibiting Saudi residents from departing without prior special permission.

  • Afghanistan 
  • Armenia 
  • Belarus 
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo 
  • India 
  • Iran 
  • Lebanon 
  • Libya 
  • Somalia 
  • Syria 
  • Turkey 
  • Venezuela 
  • Yemen

 

Travellers eligible for entry

As for who are eligible for entry into Saudi Arabia, apart from Saudi residents, entry to Saudi Arabia is extended only to government, business and essential travellers or those visiting friends and family. 

This means that non-Saudi nationals holding tourist visas are currently not allowed to enter the Kingdom. Travelling with ID has also been suspended for GCC citizens.

Vaccination and testing requirements

All visitors must carry proof of vaccination (vaccine certificates for COVID 19) with one of these vaccines:

  • 2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech
  • 2 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca
  • 2 doses of Moderna
  • 1 dose of Johnson&Johnson’s Janssen

The duration between receiving the last dose (the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or the first dose of a single dose vaccine) should not be less than 14 days before traveling to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

All visitors (except Saudi citizens and children below 8 years of age) must provide a negative PCR test certificate issued from a verified laboratory that does not exceed 72 hours from the time the test is undertaken until departing to the kingdom. Without the certificate, visitors will be denied from boarding the airplane.

Quarantine rules and requirements

All international travellers arriving in Saudi Arabia must complete a period of seven days of institutional quarantine at their own expense starting from the time of arrival at the institutional quarantine facilities to the Kingdom.

Some exemptions include:

  • Saudi citizens, citizen spouses, citizens children and domestic workers accompanying any of these categories.
    – Non-immune travellers in this category shall comply with home quarantine for a period of 7 days, and be allowed to take the COVID 19 PCR test starting on the 6TH day of quarantine).
    – Non-immune domestic workers accompanying an immune resident
  • Immune Guests and their companions under the age of 18 years of citizens and residents.
  • Those holding a diplomatic visa, diplomats and their residing families, on the basis that they adhere to the quarantine procedures by staying in their homes in accordance to the MOH.
  • Cabin crews
  • Those involved in health supply chains, according to MOH

All visitors (excluding citizens, residents and GCC citizens) must have medical insurance that covers the costs of COVID-19 treatment in outpatient clinics, emergencies and hospitals, including the institutional quarantine for a period of 14 days.