Expats arriving in Saudi Arabia need to quarantine for a week

New procedures for travellers entering the Kingdom…

With effect from May 20, all unvaccinated non-Saudi travellers from countries not facing a ban need to quarantine for seven days in government-approved accommodation upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia.

The directives came from the Saudi civil aviation authority (GACA) to combat the spread of Covid-19.

In addition, unvaccinated travellers would need to obtain a valid health insurance document to cover the risks of coronavirus. They must also undergo a PCR test for coronavirus on the first and seventh day of their arrival. Children under the age of eight are exempt from taking the test.

Who is treated as vaccinated?

Travellers who provide a certificate to prove that they have received one of the following vaccines are treated as vaccinated and will not have to go through the institutional quarantine procedures.

  • Two doses of Pfizer vaccine;
  • Two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine;
  • Two doses of Moderna vaccine; or
  • One dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Non-Saudi immunised travellers, and exempted groups who received full doses of one of the vaccines approved by the Ministry of Health (MOH) are allowed to enter Saudi Arabia without the need for a quarantine period, provided that they present an official vaccination certificate before and upon arrival.

Who is considered ‘Immune’?

For Saudi citizens and residents: Those whose status on your Tawakkalna application shows ‘Immune’ for having completed your vaccinations against Covid-19, those who have passed 14 days after your first dose, or those who have recovered from Covid-19 in a period not exceeding six months.

For non-residents and first-time visitors: You have passed 14 days since receiving all doses of the vaccination, and you would have to provide a certificate or proof per the requirements set by MOH.


The following categories are exempted from doing the institutional quarantine:

  • Saudi citizens, citizens’ spouses, citizens’ children, and domestic workers accompanying any of the individuals mentioned in these categories. Non-immune travellers in this category shall comply with home quarantine for seven days and be allowed to take the Covid-19 PCR test starting on the 6th day of quarantine.
  • Non-immune domestic workers accompanying an immune resident. Non-immune travellers shall comply with home quarantine for seven days and be allowed to take the Covid-19 PCR test starting on the 6th day of quarantine.
  • Immune travellers.
  • Those holding a diplomatic visa, diplomats, and their residing families, on the basis that they adhere to the quarantine procedures by staying in their homes per the MOH approved regulations.
  • Cabin crews.
  • Those involved in health supply chains, according to MOH.

As the Kingdom reopens, exempted individuals will have to quarantine at home unless they are vaccinated.

Those who intend to travel to Saudi Arabia should purchase one of the institutional quarantine packages that airlines are offering, which include tickets cost, accommodation (approved by the tourism ministry) costs in the institutional quarantine, and cost of two PCR tests for all passengers, excluding passengers under eight.

GACA stressed the need for everyone to adhere to precautionary measures and not be complacent in applying health requirements.

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