Saudi Arabia allows fully vaccinated residents to travel directly from Pakistan

Published August 25, 2021
Travellers wearing protective face masks walk at Riyadh International Airport in this file photo. — Reuters
Travellers wearing protective face masks walk at Riyadh International Airport in this file photo. — Reuters

Saudi Arabia has eased Covid-19 restrictions for fully vaccinated residents, allowing them to directly travel to the Kingdom from countries facing a travel ban, including Pakistan.

According to a report by the Saudi Gazette, it is only applicable for those who have a valid residency permit (Iqama) and left the Kingdom on an exit and re-entry visa after taking two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from Saudi Arabia.

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, the report said.

It added that authorities had earlier allowed direct entry to Saudi citizens, foreign diplomats, and health practitioners and their families from countries facing the travel ban.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan embassy in Riyadh welcomed the decision by the Saudi authorities.

PTI leader Zulfi Bukhari called it a "welcome step" and said that Pakistan was grateful for the support.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia had decided to allow entry to foreign travellers fully vaccinated with the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines, provided that they also receive a booster shot of either of the four vaccines approved by the Kingdom.

The decision followed the country reopening its doors to international visitors on August 1, conditional to them being inoculated by one of the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

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