Over the December 2020 holiday period, a number of countries closed their borders to the United Kingdom, in a bid to cease the spread of a mutated, second strain of the COVID-19 virus that was first detected in England.
The Ministry of Interior in the kingdom announced that the temporary travel ban has been lifted and that entry into Saudi Arabia by air, land and sea will resume from the 3rd of January 2021, in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Even though travel will resume as normal, there are some restrictions for any non-Saudi travelers from the UK, South Africa and any other countries where the second strain of COVID-19 has been found – and that is that travelers must stay out of those countries for a minimum of 14 days prior to entering Saudi Arabia.
For Saudi nationals coming from the likes of the UK or South Africa, a 14 day self-quarantine period is essential.
This new mutated strain of the coronavirus, which was first detected in Britain, has also been found in other European countries including Spain, Sweden, and France, as well as South Africa, Canada, Japan and Jordan.
With the release of the COVID-19 vaccine, Saudi Arabia is prioritizing citizens and residents with underlying health conditions and those that are considered to be “high risk.” Last week, the kingdom’s Ministry of Health recorded 101 new cases – which has been the lowest number in 9 months, and 2 regions within Saudi reporting zero cases.