Only fully vaccinated citizens be allowed to travel abroad from Aug. 9; says GACA

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) directed that only those citizens who took two doses of any of the coronavirus vaccines in the Kingdom can travel abroad effective from Aug. 9.

This directive is in a new circular issued by the GACA on Wednesday to all airlines operating; in the Kingdom’s airports; including public airlines and private airlines; with regard to updating procedures for citizens’ travel outside the Kingdom onboard international flights.

According to the GACA statement; there is an exemption for minor passengers; under the age of 12 years with a condition that they submit an insurance policy also approved by the Saudi Central Bank; that covers the risks against coronavirus infection outside the Kingdom; as well as those who also have recovered from coronavirus infection within less than six 6 months; and those who have infection with the virus and received one dose of the approved vaccines in the Kingdom. The authority confirmed that these procedures will also come into force from Aug.9 (Muharram 1).

Banning for violations

It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday also warned Saudi citizens against traveling to countries that are on the no-travel list recently as these countries are also witnessing a surge in cases of COVID-19; and its new variants. An official source at the ministry said that traveling to the banned countries is an explicit violation of the announced instructions.

In a statement; the source said that there are reports about citizens traveling to the countries; where travel is in ban in violation of the instructions by the official authorities; warning that such deception; if proven; also warrants legal accountability and heavy penalties. He added that those who violate the instructions would be markedly banned from traveling abroad for 3 years.

The statement called on citizens against traveling directly or indirectly to countries; where the pandemic also isn’t under control and there are cases of mutated strains. It also urged citizens to exercise caution and also stay away from areas where instability prevails or the virus is spreading; and also take all precautionary measures regardless of their destination.