Saudia airline issues travel guidelines for 38 countries including UAE

Departing travellers must produce a PCR test certificate from an accredited screening centre in the kingdom

Saudia airline has issued new travel guidelines for 38 countries with high rates of coronavirus cases prior to borders reopening on May 17 for vaccinated citizens.

The list of countries includes India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the US, UK, UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, the Philippines, Malaysia, Morocco, Spain, Iraq, Ethiopia, Maldives, China, Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, Bangladesh, Greece, Jordan, Kenya, Turkey, Germany, Bahrain, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Nigeria, Tunisia, Oman and Mauritius.

Before departure, Saudia requires travellers to obtain a PCR test result certificate from an accredited screening centre in the kingdom.

On returning to the kingdom, travellers have to quarantine at home for seven days and take a PCR test at the end of the week. Children under 8 are exempt.

In February, Saudi Arabia suspended entry to the kingdom from 20 countries, exempting health workers and their families, citizens and diplomats.

The Ministry of Interior will lift the suspension on international travel from 1am on Monday, May 17, for citizens who are vaccinated, have received the first dose of the vaccine 14 days before travelling, or have caught the virus in the past six months.

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia's Central Bank and the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance approved new travel insurance policies for Saudi nationals - including benefits that cover coronavirus-related issues.

It is designed to cover treatment costs of travellers if they catch the virus while abroad, state news media said.

"The product also provides coverage for life-threatening medical cases in various countries around the world and travel-related risks including quarantine procedures, cancelling or missing trips, medical expenses and medical evacuation in cases of emergency," the Saudi Press Agency said.

Saudia is publishing the guidelines on its website and is asking citizens to check their eligibility and obtain permits if necessary.

It says conditions and guidelines are subject to constant updates without prior notice.

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Updated: May 6, 2021 05:37 PM

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