Bahrain relaxes entry requirements as it tops Covid recovery index

Changes will come into effect on Sunday

Arriving travellers will only have to take one PCR test. AFP

Travellers to Bahrain will only need to take one PCR test on arrival into the country, the country’s Covid-19 response team said on Thursday.

Previously, vaccinated arrivals were required to take PCR tests on arrival, followed by the fifth and 10th days of their stay. The new changes will come into effect on Sunday and the cost of the PCR test has been reduced to 12 dinars.

The non-vaccinated and those under 12 will still have to quarantine for 10 days on arrival

It came as Bahrain received the highest score ever recorded on the Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index for its response to the pandemic in December 2021.

The score of 82 per cent on the index surpassed the previous record held by China for June 2021.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait also featured in the top 10, at fourth, seventh and ninth, respectively.

The index measures more than 120 nations on how close they are to recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused global lockdowns in March 2020 and beyond. It gives a percentage ranking based on vaccine roll-outs, infection management and movement restrictions.

The most recent rankings were adjusted for booster roll-outs instead of first vaccinations.

Bahrain, like many nations, is experiencing a third spike in Covid-19 cases. On Wednesday it registered 1081 new cases, a sharp rise from 40 on December 14.

Over the past week, 7,361 vaccine doses were administered daily and the country said it would offer a fourth dose to those who had been given three shots of Sinopharm as the new Omicron variant spreads worldwide.

Dr Waleed Khalifa Al Manea, undersecretary at the Ministry of Health, said 94 per cent of those eligible had been double vaccinated and 83 per cent of those eligible for a booster had received one.

Last week, the government approved the use of Pfizer’s anti-Covid drug, Paxlovid, for emergency use in adults.

Updated: January 6th 2022, 5:11 PM