Saudi Arabia has decided to allow fully vaccinated tourists to visit the Kingdom without the need for an institutional quarantine period.
The visitors must present a certificate proving that they were vaccinated, the country’s tourism ministry announced on Thursday.
The decision will come into force starting from August 1, the ministry said, as long as the vaccinated tourists meet the criteria.
Fully vaccinated tourists are those who have received two doses of the approved vaccines in the Kingdom, namely Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna, a statement issued on yesterday said.
Visitors to the Kingdom are also required to register their data related to their vaccination doses on the new dedicated electronic portal.
At the time, their data is also recorded through the “Tawakkalna” application, and must be shown to enter public places.
As for those wishing to obtain tourist visas, they can apply through the “Spirit of Saudi” website, visitsaudi.com.
“We welcome tourists again, and we are very happy to receive the Kingdom’s guests again after a pause due to the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic,” Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib said.
“We focused our efforts during the downtime on close cooperation with our partners in all sectors to ensure a safe return through which visitors to the Kingdom enjoy exploring its tourist treasures, important destinations and landmarks, enjoy unique tourist experiences, and learn about the culture of generosity and hospitality that characterizes the Saudi society,” he added.
Under the leadership of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as part of its efforts to diversify its economy away from the oil industry, the Kingdom has invested billions to establish a tourism sector.
The strategy comes in line the 2030 Vision launched by the Crown Prince.
Riyadh launched the tourist visa in September 2019, where citizens of 49 countries would be able to receive the visa electronically, while holders of US, UK and Schengen visas can receive the visa upon arrival.
About 400,000 tourist visas were issued between September 2019 and March 2020, according to the Ministry of Tourism.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic had caused a pause to the Kingdome’s ambitions as regional and international borders were shut.
International travel in and out of Saudi were banned since the onset of the pandemic in March last year.
The government announced a limited restart of international travel in mid-September 2020, but only for specific categories of people.