Saudia Reopens All Borders Resumes Flight Operations.

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The Interior Ministry of Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday 16 May the reopening of all borders from 17 May and the resumption of flight operations.

Saudi Arabia has lifted the travel prohibition imposed last year after the Covid-19 outbreak from Monday. The authorities have said they are ready to operate international flights at total capacity.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has disapproved of the idea of empty seats as it does not contribute to increased safety from the virus but certainly causes increased ticket prices; there will be no empty seats among the travelers.

In its announcement on Sunday, the Interior Ministry said 17 May would mark the complete opening of all borders, including air, land, and sea. The Kingdom will permit people vaccinated for Covid-19 to travel and those who have already recovered from the infection during the past six months.

Citizens below 18 will be allowed to travel if they have a health insurance policy covering coronavirus-related risks. The ministry, in its announcement, said it would require institutional quarantine of arriving passengers starting from 20 May.

These decisions have been made on the recommendations of the competent health authorities. Specific categories of passengers will be exempt from the quarantine requirement; all Saudi nationals and their families will be included.
The exemption will also apply to passengers who have already received their Covid-19 vaccines, government delegations, and diplomats, along with their families.

These excluded categories, except for the vaccinated travelers, will have to undergo home quarantine. Valid health insurance will be required that covers the treatment for coronavirus in case of illness.

Saudi Arabian Airlines, in its statement, said that it had completed arrangements to operate flights to 71 destinations from 95 airports. That includes 28 domestic and 43 international destinations.

The General Authority of Civil Aviation said that around 385 flights are expected to operate throughout the Kingdom’s airports on Monday.

The Interior Ministry has clarified that travel to some Covid-affected countries, directly or via another nation, is still banned without prior permission.

The countries are India, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Yemen, Iran, Armenia, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Belarus, and Venezuela.

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