GACA updates entry mechanism for visitors and expats

By September 16, 2021GCC Updates, News

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) issues instructions to all airlines operating in Saudi Arabia to update their entry mechanism for non-immunized visitors and expats’ from non-banned countries. It has also reduced the institutional quarantine period to 5 days, effective from 23 September 2021. This article will share some significant updates from GACA regarding the new mechanism and procedures to enter the Kingdom. 

GACA clarified the new mechanism and procedures to enter the Kingdom 

  1. Those who are non-vaccinated or have received only one dose of the approved vaccines in Saudi Arabia, provided they submit a negative PCR test within 72 hours before departure. They need to serve a reduced institutional quarantine period of 5 days. Two PCR tests will be conducted, one within 24 hours of arrival and the second on the 5th day of the quarantine period. PCRs times as shown on the Tawakkalna app must be adhered to. 
  2. Immune visitors who have received an unapproved vaccine by WHO or by Saudi Arabia, or individuals immune by an approved vaccine from WHO but not approved in the Kingdom, must submit a negative PCR test within 72 hours before leaving for KSA. They also need to serve a reduced institutional quarantine period of 5 days. Two PCR tests will be conducted, one within 24 hours of arrival and the second on the 5th day of the quarantine period. PCRs times as shown on the Tawakkalna app must be adhered to.

GACA clarifies the entry mechanism for dependents with their immune relatives

  1. Under 18-year-olds who are unvaccinated are subject to 5 day home quarantine. On the fifth day, a PCR test must be performed. This is in addition to the implementation of all preventive measures approved by the Ministry of Health.
  2. A quarantine procedure is applied to unvaccinated dependents aged 18 or older.

In addition, some other instructions are also issued 

  • GACA stresses taking the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Kingdom after institutional quarantine ends. Fully immunized individuals who have taken an approved vaccine from WHO but not approved in Saudi must take a booster dose. 
  • Prior to landing in Saudi Arabia, tourists are required to register on the website “Quddum”. 
  • GACA highlights the amendments to Saudi citizens’ home quarantine procedures. Non-vaccinated individuals are quarantined at home for five days. On the 5th day, PCR will be performed in addition to implementing all precautionary measures approved by the ministry.
  • GACA stresses that only those who receive one of the vaccines approved in Saudi Arabia can enter all places, activities, events, and government and private facilities and use public transportation. 

No quarantine for the vaccinated passengers 

  • Fully immunized passengers are exempted from home or institutional quarantine provided they show proof of receiving required doses of 4 approved vaccines in the Kingdom. Individuals who received Sinopharm/Sinovac must receive an additional dose from the 4 approved vaccines. 
  • Vaccine certificates must be certified by the official health authorities of the country of vaccination. The gap between arrival in the Kingdom and the vaccine 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. 

Definition of vaccination status requirements 

For Saudi citizens/residents

  • Those who are completely vaccinated against COVID‑19 and whose status shows Immune in the Tawakkalna app.
  • Those who have completed 14 days since their first dose of an approved vaccine or those who have recovered from COVID‑19 within the last 6 months.

For non‑residents and first-time visitors

  • Those who completed 14 days since receiving all doses of a vaccine authorized by the Kingdom and can present a certificate or proof according to the requirements set by the Ministry of Health and fill the required online form before traveling to the country.