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Saudi Arabia eases travel curbs for vaccinated Pakistani expats

Saudi Arabia has relaxed Covid-19 related restrictions for fully vaccinated expats allowing them to directly enter the kingdom from countries facing travel bans including Pakistan

The new decision will be applicable only to those foreigners who have a valid residency permit (iqama) and left the kingdom on exit and reentry visa after taking two doses of vaccine against coronavirus from Saudi Arabia, according to Saudi Gazette.

The Pakistan embassy in Riyadh also confirmed the development saying it “welcomes the decision of the Govt of the KSA to allow direct travel from Pakistan to KSA..”.

Currently, the countries facing the travel ban are India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Lebanon.

Also read: Saudi Arabia to accept Chinese vaccines with booster shot

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia allowed conditional entry of travellers fully vaccinated with China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines provided they have had a booster shot.

“Guests who have completed two doses of the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines will be accepted if they have received an additional dose of one of the four vaccines approved in the kingdom,” the Saudi authorities wrote on their official visa website.

So far, only AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson have been approved by the Saudi health authorities. However, all visitors arriving in the country will be required to provide proof of vaccination along with a negative PCR test.

Moreover, travellers arriving in the kingdom will be required to “provide a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure and an approved paper vaccination certificate, certified by the official health authorities in the issuing country”.

In a bid to facilitate travel, Saudi Arabia has also removed the quarantine requirement for vaccinated individuals.

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