Saudi Arabia has decided to allow fully vaccinated expatriates to come to the Kingdom through direct flights from Pakistan from 1 December, Federal Minister for Information, Fawad Chaudhry, revealed on Thursday.
Besides Pakistan, Saudi Arabia has also allowed direct flights from India, Indonesia, Egypt, Brazil, and Vietnam. Previously, expatriates coming from these countries were required to observe a 14-day quarantine in a country where Saudi Arabia had allowed direct flights from.
According to the latest travel advisory issued from the Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry, fully vaccinated expatriates coming from these six countries will still be required to undergo a 5-day mandatory quarantine after arriving in Saudi Arabia to ensure they are not infected.
In February last year, Saudi Arabia had banned entry into the Kingdom. A month later, Saudi Arabia also suspended direct flights from UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, the US, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Japan.
Entry to Saudi Arabia was reopened in January this year and direct flights from these countries have been gradually resumed since then depending on their respective COVID-19 situation.
Where the matter of allowing Pakistani pilgrims to perform Umrah is concerned, Saudi Arabia hasn’t allowed them entry yet. However, the situation is expected to change soon as Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Malki, had indicated earlier this month that Pakistani pilgrims would soon be allowed to perform Umrah.
Moreover, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, Pir Noorul Haq Qadri, is also in Saudi Arabia on a week-long visit to discuss the restoration of Umrah flights from Pakistan with his Saudi counterpart.