An official source of the Ministry of Interior announced today that a royal approval has stated that lifting of complete restrictions, previously imposed due to the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, on the departure and return of citizens to and from the Kingdom and allowing the opening of air, sea and land outlets will take place after the first of January 2021.
"Based on reports submitted by the competent authorities regarding details of latest developments in addressing the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and due to continuing high rates of the pandemic infections in a number of countries, including some countries facing a second wave of the pandemic, in light of the possibility of no safe and effective vaccine for this disease by the end of 2020, in the interest of the safety and health of citizens, particularly those outside the Kingdom, in addition to the need for the Health Ministry's medical and health teams to focus on the various hospitals and medical centers without distracting the ministry’s efforts in combating the pandemic via moving a large number of its personnel to the land, sea and air outlets as well as the importance of lifting the suspension of international flights to and from the Kingdom and the opening of the ports gradually allowing to assess the situation in the coming months until the health risks associated with the pandemic disappear and suitable vaccines for the COVID-19 reached, the Royal approval is issued as follows:
1- Lifting of complete restrictions on the departure and return of citizens to and from the Kingdom and allowing the opening of air, sea and land outlets will take place after the first of January 2021, in accordance with the measures taken before the pandemic.
2- The date for lifting the suspension and permission referred to in paragraph (1) of this provision (First) shall be announced 30 days before January 1, 2021. The Ministry of Health, if required, is to submit a request to set preventive health requirements for travelers and carriers during their travel in the terminals at airports, ports and stations.
As an exception to what is stated in provision (First), the following shall be done:
1- The following categories of citizens will be allowed to travel outside the Kingdom and return to it according to certain requirements:
A - Civilian and military governmental employees, assigned to official tasks.
B - Personnel at the Saudi diplomatic and consular missions as well as attachés abroad and personnel at the regional and international organizations, their families and companions.
C - Personnel at permanent jobs, in public, private or non-profit facilities, outside the Kingdom, and those who have job tasks in companies or commercial institutions outside the Kingdom.
D - Businesspersons whose their business requires travel to conclude commercial and/or industrial activities as well as export, marketing and sales directors whose tasks obligate them to visit clients.
E - Patients whose treatment requires the travel outside the Kingdom, based on medical reports, particularly cancer patients and patients in need of organ transplantation.
F - Students on scholarships, or those studying at their own expense and trainees on medical fellowship programs whose studies or training require travel to the countries in which they study or train and their dependents.
G - Those who have humane cases, particularly the following two cases:
1) A male or female citizen who seeks reunification with his/her relatives residing outside the Kingdom.
2) The death of a husband, wife, parent, or child outside the Kingdom.
H - Expatriates outside the Kingdom and their dependents who could show up evidence of their legal residence outside the Kingdom.
I - Participants in regional and international official sporting events, including players and members of technical and administrative staff.
2) Allowing entry to and departure from the Kingdom for citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States as well as allowing non-Saudis who obtain any of the following visas: exit and re-entry, work permit, Iqama (resident permit) or visit. The entry of the GCC citizens and non-Saudis into the Kingdom is subject to the preventive health measures taken by the relevant committee to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 in the Kingdom. The requirements include that anyone enters the Kingdom must submit a proof that he/she is COVID-19 infection-free according to a most recent medical test conducted by a reliable entity outside the Kingdom. This test doesn't exceed 48 hours before arrival in the Kingdom.
3) The suspension of international flights coming to or leaving the Kingdom and the opening of land, sea and air outlets is partially lifted to allow the excluded categories of citizens and others to enter and depart the Kingdom.
4) The above-mentioned exceptions are not applicable to any country to which travel or arrival have been suspended, for reasons other than curbing the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
5) The above-mentioned exceptions don't apply to countries whose concerned authorities have decided to suspend travel in or out due to continuing outbreak of the COVID-19, a measure taken to prevent the spread of the virus in the Kingdom.
6) The above-mentioned exceptions go into effect from 06:00 am on 15, September 2020.
The relevant authorities, each within its own competence, shall issue explanatory statements of the measures for implementing the aforementioned exceptions, including the relevant requirements and conditions.
A plan will be announced to allow performing of Umrah gradually in light of the developments related to the pandemic.