Hundreds of cars and SUVs were seen lined up at the King Fahd causeway waiting to enter Bahrain as thousands of people from Saudi Arabia are expected to cross the 25-kilometer bridge on Monday morning after reopening for the first time in more than a year.
Those present at the Eastern Province crossing report hundreds of cars lined up for hours in advance of the reopening of the border crossing after more than a year of closure due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Two years ago, during the 2019 Eid al-Fitr holidays, the bridge saw a record number of vehicles (129,000) cross the border from Saudi Arabia into Bahrain; the number is expected to be broken by the first weekend of the reopening.
What are the new rules for travelers?
- Only those vaccinated or who have recovered from the illness would be allowed to travel. Proof of status is through the Tawakkalna app installed on their phones.
- Travelers below 18 years must have coronavirus insurance with them.(Read: Getting Healthcare insurance in Saudi Arabia)
- They can also present PCR certificates that should not exceed 72 hours from taking the sample.
- For travelers heading from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, they will have to carry any health applications approved in the GCC countries.
The King Fahd Causeway Authority announced earlier the requirements of both citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia to enter Bahrain via the bridge, including the need for a COVID-19 PCR test no more than 72 hours valid before an entry back into Saudi Arabia.
Permission to travel from Saudi Arabia will be restricted to vaccinated people or those who have recently recovered from the virus based on information provided on the individual’s Tawakalna app, Saudi Arabia’s official COVID-19 contact tracing app, or a coronavirus insurance certificate for persons under the age of 18.
Saudi Arabia officially lifted its suspension on citizens traveling abroad and opened its land, sea, and air borders on Monday, May 17. All Saudi citizens who have completed their vaccination or have had at least one shot two weeks before the travel date, those who have recovered from coronavirus during the last six months, and those under 18 are allowed to travel.