Saudi Arabia to reopen to vaccinated tourists after 17-month Covid closure

Saudi Arabia introduced Friday it might reopen its borders to totally vaccinated overseas vacationers after a 17-month closure because of the coronavirus pandemic, the state news agency stated.

Nonetheless, Riyadh didn’t announce any lifting of restrictions on the umrah, a pilgrimage that may be undertaken at any time, which often attracts tens of millions of Muslims from throughout the globe annually.

“The Ministry of Tourism introduced that the Kingdom will open its doorways to overseas vacationers, and carry… the suspension of entry for vacationer visa holders, ranging from August 1,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.

It stated travellers absolutely vaccinated with Saudi-approved jabs — Pfizer, , Moderna or Johnson & Johnson — will have the ability to enter the dominion “with out the necessity for an institutional quarantine interval”, supplied additionally they have proof of a unfavorable PCR Covid-19 check taken throughout the final 72 hours and register their particulars with well being authorities.

Riyadh has spent billions attempting to construct a tourism business from scratch, as a part of efforts to diversify its oil-reliant financial system.

The once-reclusive kingdom started issuing vacationer visas for the primary time in 2019, a part of an bold push to revamp its international picture and draw guests.

Between September 2019 and March 2020, it issued 400,000 — just for the pandemic to crush that momentum as borders have been closed.

Covid-19 additionally vastly disrupted the hajj and umrah pilgrimages, often a key income earner for the dominion — in regular occasions, they collectively rake in some $12 billion (10.3 billion euros) yearly.

Presently solely immunised pilgrims resident in Saudi Arabia are eligible for umrah permits.

The federal government has accelerated a nationwide vaccination drive because it strikes to revive tourism and host sports activities and leisure extravaganzas, all pandemic-hit sectors.

To date, 26 million jabs have been administered to the inhabitants of 35 million, and the dominion has stated that from August 1, vaccinations will probably be obligatory to enter authorities and personal institutions, together with training establishments and leisure venues, in addition to to make use of public transport.

Saudi Arabia has registered greater than 523,000 coronavirus instances, with 8,213 deaths. | Saudi Arabia to reopen to vaccinated vacationers after 17-month Covid closure


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