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State to bear COVID treatment expenses for traveling residents and GCC citizens

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  • Publish Date

    May 25, 2021

The institutional quarantine shall be in the city of arrival. — Courtesy photo

JEDDAH — The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announced that the state will bear the expenses of treating residents and GCC citizens who need to be hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19 during their Institutional quarantine upon arrival to the Kingdom.

While those who arrive on a visitor visa the treatment expenses will be covered by the insurance company.

GACA issued on Monday a guideline for travelers who are not Saudi citizens and those from exempted groups who are not immunized, and those coming from countries from which entry has not been suspended.

The guideline explains that all passengers who test positive for COVID-19 will undergo isolation in the institutional quarantine for a period of (10-14) days, depending on the state of recovery for those whose health status does not require hospitalization.

According to the guideline, all air carriers must announce on their websites that the Saudi government requires institutional quarantine for those who plan to visit the country and must, also, obtain medical insurance to cover their treatment of COVID-19.

Violators of isolation instructions or quarantine shall be punished with a fine of SR200,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or both, and in the event of a repeat violation the penalty shall be doubled.

Non-Saudi violators will be deported from the Kingdom and banned from entering indefinitely after the execution of the punishment against the individual.

The institutional quarantine shall be in the city of arrival.

Travelers who intend to visit Saudi Arabia should have medical insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment. Residents, and GCC citizens shall be excluded from obtaining the insurance.

The insurance should cover the costs of treatment in outpatient clinics, emergencies, and hospitals; including institutional quarantine for a period of up to 14 days.

Passengers who do not meet the requirements shall be sent back to the destination from where they had departed, and the air carrier shall bear the costs.

The status of the immune and non-immune travelers shall be verified by air carriers at the departure airport.

They are responsible for verifying the passengers’ health status in accordance with the passenger’s documentation and the extent to which they meet the requirements and conditions mandated by the Ministry of Health before issuing the boarding pass. Upon arrival to the Kingdom, the Ministry of Health will conduct a health check.

The air carrier shall provide a variety of options to choose from for institutional quarantine that suits all segments for those coming to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia requires upon arrival that passengers show a proof of vaccination with one of the flowing vaccines — two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, two doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca, two doses of Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s.

Vaccine certificates are required to be certified by official health authorities from the country that provided the vaccination for incoming passengers, and the duration between receiving the last dose (the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or the first dose of a single-dose vaccine) should not be less than 14 days before traveling to Saudi Arabia. Vaccine certificates may be verified upon arrival at the checkpoints of the Kingdom.

Travelers must carry their vaccine certificates at all times during their stay in the Kingdom (or proof of health status through applications and accredited programs in the Kingdom). Failure to comply with these regulations will subject the travelers to legal liabilities in addition to being banned from entry to the Kingdom.