This article is reviewed weekly by Wego’s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate.

Last updated 7 July 2021

As the Coronavirus pandemic rages around the world, countries everywhere are performing balancing acts of stemming the infection while attempting to resuscitate the economy. Saudi Arabia is one country still in the thick of this predicament. What do we know about the situation there now?

The current situation on the pandemic in KSA

As of 7 July 2021, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reported a total of 495,309 cases with 475,448 cases of recovery.

Life gradually returns to normal after the 91-day lockdown and curfew. Restrictions on businesses have been largely eased although some remain in force for religious pilgrimages, international travel and social gatherings of more than 50 people.

With the threat of the delta variant looming on the horizon, health experts are strongly urging all citizens and residents to get themselves fully vaccinated as soon as possible.

No efforts have been spared in advancing Saudi Arabia’s vaccination drive in the country’s bid to achieve herd immunity. As of 7 July, Saudi Arabia has administered at least 18,699,493 doses of COVID vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 27.3 percent of the country’s population.


Precautionary measures taken by the government

Ever since the early discoveries of the pandemic back in February and March, Saudi authorities have taken precautionary measures that included the temporary suspension of Umrah, travel restrictions, regional lockdowns, and curfews; the former at one time even lasted close to 24 hours in some cities.

This year, it’s been confirmed that the Hajj pilgrimage will only accommodate some 60,000 pilgrims exclusively allocated to Saudi Arabia citizens and residents. Foreign pilgrims for two straight years have been barred from fulfilling their religious obligation. Those that are performing Hajj this year will also be subject to stringent health and safety protocols as well as vaccination requirements.

Since the overall easing of restrictions around the country, mosques have been allowed to reopen, dine-in activities are resumed, and economic activities have largely returned to normal with a few safety procedures firmly in place:

Mandatory mask-wearing

In a statement by Ministry of Interior published by Saudi Press Agency, mask-wearing is now mandatory and failure to do so will incur a fine of SR1,000. The fine will be doubled if they repeat the violation.

Establishments will also be held responsible for upholding the regulations. Businesses and facilities that allow people to enter their premises without wearing medical or cloth masks will face a fine of SR10,000 as well. Similarly, businesses that don’t provide sanitizers at specified places, don’t check temperatures of customers, don’t perform disinfection will also receive fine of same amount.

Limitation on social gathering

Family gatherings inside homes, farms, or rest areas with 50 or more participants will be penalized with a fine of SR10,000.

Non-family gathering inside homes, rest houses, farms, camps, etc. for more than 50 people in one or a specific place is SR15.000.


The state of travel in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, 2 February 2021 had banned expatriates from traveling to the Kingdom from over 20 countries to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The Saudi travel ban came to an end on 17 May and international flights resumed flying in and out of the country. However, there are two catches.

For one, borders have been opened exclusively for the following categories.

  • those who have received two vaccination shots
  • those who have received one shot at least two weeks prior to travel
  • those who have recovered from coronavirus within the last six months, and
  • those who are under 18 years old

The approved vaccines are Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.

Secondly, flights from countries where the coronavirus situation is still grave are still prohibited by the Kingdom. As of 7 July, the countries on the Saudi red list are-

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Lebanon
  • Pakistan
  • South Africa
  • Turkey
  • UAE
  • Vietnam
  • Ethiopia
  • Afghanistan

Irrespective of country of departure, everyone flying into Saudi Arabia is required to be vaccinated, have a negative PCR test certificate, and quarantine for 10 days.



[wp-faq-schema title=”FAQs” accordion=1]