People with the Saudi vaccine were allowed to leave the empire for the first time for more than a year on Monday when the country enacted a law banning foreign travel aimed at curbing the spread of the disease with new species.
For the past 14 months, Saudi Arabian nationals have been banned from traveling abroad due to fears that international travel could spread the virus to more than 30 million people. The ban, which has been in place since March 2020, has affected Saudi students studying abroad, among others.
However, in recent months, the government has vaccinated about 11.5 million people with a single jab of COVID-19 vaccine, making them eligible to leave the country on Monday under the new guidelines. Authorities have also allowed people who have recently recovered from the virus and children under the age of 18 with travel insurance.
The relaxation of the rules led to the departure of holidaymakers from the empire, following the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
“I feel good after spending a long time in Bahrain,” said Mohammed, a Saudi national who is traveling to the island.
Saudi Arabian travelers are required to demonstrate their health to airport officials through the state health program, Tawakkalna. Travelers from other countries will be required to live in isolation at home and be tested for HIV.
The government, which has affected the connection between hospitals and citizens and citizens, set up other measures to combat coronavirus early in the epidemic. It involves closing mosques and businesses for several weeks at a time, greatly reducing the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and imposing its limits on travelers.
Passengers flocked to Saudi Arabian airport on Monday for boarding flights.
“We have been in Saudi Arabia for about a year and a half, so we can’t believe the ban is over and we can see the world,” said Nawaf al-Askar, a Saudi from Riyadh to Bosnia and Herzegovina and his family.
Some travelers may resume their studies abroad or travel may be delayed. “We have been dreaming [of travelling] For more than a year… Thank God that the airport is open and we will run away, “said Saleh, who lives in Riyadh.
The recent list of countries where direct or non-direct travel is still banned, however, includes a number of high-risk countries, including Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey and India.
The Saudis are likely to cross into neighboring Bahrain via the King Fahd Causeway from Monday as bans are tightened, according to local newspaper reports. A small island nation where the sale of alcohol is legal under its laws and where the Saudi people and others want less vacation.
The Saudi emperor will use flights to 71 destinations, including 43 foreign countries, starting Monday. Some of them are Cairo, Sharm el-Sheikh, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Athens, Frankfurt, Washington and New York.
With a few exceptions, visitors from 20 countries – including the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and France – were also barred from entering the empire.
Saudi Arabia has registered more than 430,000 people living with the virus since the outbreak, including more than 7,160 people. About 1,400 people are still living with the virus.
Although holders of visas to Saudi Arabia are not allowed to enter, the kingdom is forcibly selling its territory to foreigners.
In Dubai, which is home to the Arabian Travel Market show this week, Saudi Arabia is heavily selling its Red Sea coast and entry points such as the Al-Ula ruins and the Diriyah fort outside Riyadh.
The government had opened up to international tourism in September 2019, just months before the coronavirus was released.