Saudi Arabia has lifted some of its COVID-19 entry restrictions and intends to completely lift them for Saudi citizens on Jan. 1, 2021.

Key Points:

  • Restrictions on travel by air, land and sea were lifted on Sept. 15 for the following Saudi citizens, allowing them to leave and return to Saudi Arabia:
    • government employees (including military) assigned official duties;
    • Saudi diplomatic and consular missions personnel;
    • regional and international organizations staff and their families and companions;
    • public, private or non-profit facilities employees in permanent jobs outside the country;
    • those employed in companies or commercial institutions outside the country;
    • business people who must travel to conduct their business;
    • marketing and sales directors who must visit their clients;
    • medical patients in need of treatment outside the country such as cancer and organ transplant patients;
    • scholarship students;
    • self-funded students and medical fellows whose studies and training must take place outside the country;
    • those traveling for humanitarian reasons, including those who are seeking reunification with family members outside the country or who must travel because of the death of a close family member; and
    • athletes in regional and international official sporting events, including team staff.
  • Citizens from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will be allowed to enter and exit the Kingdom.
  • Foreign nationals with valid exit and re-entry visas, work permits, resident permits or visit visas may now enter and depart Saudi Arabia.
  • All travelers entering Saudi Arabia must show a negative COVID-19 test certificate from a test taken no more than 48 hours before entry from a reliable testing facility outside Saudi Arabia. They must also follow COVID-19 preventative health measures.
  • Travel restrictions by air, land and sea will be completely lifted for Saudi citizens after Jan. 1, 2021. The government will announce the specific date in December.

Background: Saudi Arabia first suspended international flights in March.

Analysis & Comments: The partial easing of restrictions for certain travelers will allow greater movement of people into and out of Saudi Arabia. It is isn’t clear yet exactly when all travel restrictions will be lifted for Saudi citizens but the exact date is scheduled to be revealed in December. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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