GACA updates entry mechanism, procedures for visitors, residents, shortens quarantine

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation has issued instructions to all airlines operating in the Kingdom to update the entry mechanism and procedures for residents and visitors entering the Kingdom from the allowed countries and to reduce the period of institutional quarantine.

In a statement, the authority stated the below:

First: A unvaccinated person, who has received one dose of the Kingdom’s approved vaccines, needs to submit a negative PCR report of a sample taken within 72 hours before departure to the Kingdom at the latest.

Second: A person, who has completed one of the vaccines not approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Kingdom, or has completed one of the vaccines approved by WHO and not approved in the Kingdom, needs to submit a negative PCR report of a sample taken within 72 hours before departure to the Kingdom at the latest.

In both cases, institutional quarantine procedures will be applied for five days and a COVID-19 test needs to be done within 24 hours of arrival, in addition to another one on the fifth day after arrival. It is a must to adhere to PCRs times as shown on the Tawakkalna app. The quarantine ends with the second negative PCR result, taken in Saudi Arabia.

GACA stated that dependents who are allowed to enter with their relatives who are immune, according to the following:

First: Unvaccinated dependents under the age of 18 are subject to home quarantine procedures for five days, provided that a corona examination (for those who have completed eight years and above) is conducted on the fifth day. They are committed to applying all precautionary measures determined by the Ministry of Health.

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Second: Unvaccinated dependents, who have completed 18 years or more, will be subject to institutional quarantine procedures.

GACA indicated that this will be effective as of Sept. 23 at 12 pm.

The authority stressed that residents must complete the vaccine doses available in the Kingdom after the end of the institutional quarantine period. In addition, anyone who has taken one of the vaccines approved by WHO and not approved in the Kingdom (currently Sinopharma and Sinovac vaccines) should obtain a booster dose from one of the vaccines available in the Kingdom after arrival.

Arriving passengers must register on the “Quddum” platform before arrival in the Kingdom.

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Quarantine procedures will be applied according to the Ministry of Health’s protocols for those who test positive during the institutional quarantine period, the statement noted.

According to the statement, recovery from Coronavirus infection is not considered a valid reason for not implementing institutional quarantine procedures.

GACA emphasized the revision of home quarantine procedures for Saudi citizens. For non-vaccinated people, a five-day home quarantine is in effect. On the fifth day, a PCR test is required. This is in addition to implementing all of the Ministry of Health’s precautionary measures.

Individuals who have not received a coronavirus vaccination with a vaccine approved in the Kingdom will be denied access to activities, events, and government and private facilities, as well as public transportation, the statement stated.