Saudi Arabia to allow ’exceptional categories’ to travel to the Kingdom

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Non-Saudis must submit evidence they are free from the coronavirus to enter the country

Dubai: The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announced that it has updated its traveller’s guide, after the issuance of the approval by the competent authorities in the kingdom to allow international travel for exceptional categories, which was in line with the health protocols for this stage, local media reported.

The new controls include, not allowing non-Saudis to enter the kingdom’s territory except after submitting evidence that they are free from infection with the coronavirus based on a recent testing by a reliable and approved medical entity outside the kingdom, and no more than 48 hours have passed since the date of its execution at the moment of their arrival at the airport.

Furthermore, travellers must adhere to the preventive health procedures that impose home quarantine for those arriving from outside the kingdom (for Saudis and non-Saudis), as per the period determined by the Health Ministry.

Medical professionals will be allowed back into the Kingdom after new rules came into effect

This is in addition to downloading and using both “Tetamen” and “Tawaklna” applications. Meanwhile, travellers must commit to a full medical disclosure during the reservation process. Further, travelers must report if they have any symptoms of the coronavirus.

This update comes in addition to the previous protocols formerly applied, most notably the purchase of airline tickets via electronic means only, arriving at the airport before their flight departure in adequate time, taking the passenger’s temperature at the airport. Meanwhile, those with temperatures above 38 degrees Celsius will not be permitted to travel.

Other procedures include, sterilizing one’s hands when entering the terminal, and wearing a cloth mask when entering the airport, “It is forbidden to travel for those who are not wearing a facemask”. Facemasks and gloves must be worn for the duration of the flight and during the disembarkation process.

A commitment of full medical disclosure during the reservation process and one must report any symptoms of the coronavirus. Moreover, each passenger is allowed to carry only one piece of personal belongings inside the plane cabin, and we highly encourage the use of electronic payment methods and reduce the use of banknotes.

This is in addition to avoiding close queuing when boarding the plane and inside the shuttle buses and boarding bridges. Passengers must maintain physical and social distancing between travelers at all stages of travel and with service providers, by standing on informational decals placed on the terminal floor.

Meanwhile, GACA also provides sterilizers throughout the kingdom’s 28 airports, and requires all airport workers and aircrews to conduct medical examinations, sterilize hands, wear masks, gloves and protection shields. This is in addition to continuously disinfecting all airports, and all aircrafts after each journey.

GACA has also installed glass barriers separating travellers from service providers for issuing boarding passes and baggage claim. Further, an area has been provided for health isolation for suspected cases. GACA also encourages the use of electronic payment methods to reduce dealing with banknotes.

Meanwhile, social distancing of 1.5 meters must be observed between travellers at all service providers, restaurants and cafes. This in addition to a commitment to the gradual boarding of aircrafts by the service provider, and ensuring that there is no close queuing.

Passenger bridges, shuttle buses and medical lifts are disinfected before and after each use. Inside the aircraft, all cabin crew and passengers are obligated to wear masks and gloves throughout the course of the flight. The guide also touched on the commitment of the traveler to dispose of masks and gloves in the trash bins available at the airport, further, luggage trolleys must be placed in the designated area for disinfection.