Harvard University

Saudi Arabia

Risk Ratings  

    MEDIUM MEDICAL RISK for Saudi Arabia
    MEDIUM TRAVEL RISK for Saudi Arabia
    HIGH TRAVEL RISK for Iraq border areas; Yemen border areas

COVID-19 Impact

COVID-19 virus imageCOVID-19 Impact Rating (Travel): High -

Inbound travel significantly restricted for most travellers.

Only citizens and those who meet certain criteria for exemption  may enter. Mandatory testing and quarantine in designated facilities may apply.

COVID-19 virus imageCOVID-19 Impact Rating (Domestic Operations): Low -

COVID-related precautions and restrictions causing some inconvenience to business operations. Most businesses are operating.

Both essential and non-essential businesses are operating, though outbreaks may impact medical and/or logistic factors  and cause disruption, often at short notice. Pre-existing security risks likely to be exacerbated by COVID-19-related political and socio-economic concerns in the near/medium term, though these disruptions will not affect the stability of the overall security environment. Elective surgery may not be accessible at times and VERY HIGH and HIGH Medical Risk Rated countries will be under pressure. Basic elements of BCPs – such as reduced or staggered staffing, social distancing, limited face to face interaction – may be active, with clear escalation and de-escalation triggers as well as mitigation measures.

• Are there any border restrictions? No
• Are there any entry restrictions? Yes
• Are there any testing requirements? Yes
• Are there any quarantine requirements? Yes
• Are there any vaccine requirements? No
• Are there any separate transit restrictions? No
• Is COVID-19-related documentation required? Yes
• Are there separate restrictions for overseas territories? No
• Are there any other restrictions? Yes
(until further notice)
Entry rules

- Saudi Arabia has re-opened its borders to all travellers except those coming from or transiting through Category 1 countries. These countries include Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Africa, and Turkey.
- Saudi nationals may enter Saudi Arabia if coming from a category 1 country. Non-Saudi nationals with Iqama (residency), non-residents and first time visitors are required to spend 14 days outside of the category 1 country prior to entry into Saudi Arabia.
- Only vaccinated foreign travellers will be allowed to enter Saudi Arabia via the King Fahd Causeway. Travellers must have received all doses of one of the vaccines recognised by Saudi Arabia. Travellers are expected to show their immune status using health applications on their phone approved for use in GCC countries. Saudi residents who have received only one dose of a two dose vaccine can enter Saudi Arabia through the King Fahd Causeway provided their vaccine status appears on the Tawakkalna app. Non-Saudi travellers from Bahrain should also present PCR test certificates which should not exceed 72 hours from the taking of the sample. An exception applies to those holding diplomatic visa, diplomats and their accompaniers, official delegations, cabin crews and those associated with health supply chains."
- Saudi authorities recognised the following vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
(Until further notice)
Testing requirements

• Who needs to test + Type of test and timeframe?
All permitted travellers, except Saudi citizens and children below eight, must provide a negative PCR test certificate issued from a verified laboratory and taken within 72 hours within departure to Saudi Arabia.
(Until further notice)
Quarantine requirements

• Who must quarantine and for how long and where can this be done?
- Unvaccinated Saudi nationals must isolate at home for seven days upon arrival and conduct a test on the sixth day.
- Unvaccinated Iqama holders, non-residents and first time visitors are required to enter institutional quarantine (booked via the airline), take a second test on the seventh day and leave quarantine on the eighth if found negative.
- The duration of quarantine may be determined on a case-by-case basis by the local authorities.

• Additional tests in quarantine?
- Unvaccinated Saudi nationals must submit to a COVID-19 PCR test on the sixth day of their quarantine period.
- Unvaccinated Iqama holders, non-residents and first time visitors must complete additional COVID-19 PCR tests on the first day and seventh day of their quarantine period.

• Exemptions
- Diplomats and their families.
- Members of foreign delegations.
- Flight crews.
- Individuals who work as part of the medical supply chain (to be determined by the Ministry of Health).
(Until further notice)
Vaccine requirements

• Who needs to be vaccinated?
- Vaccination is NOT mandatory to enter Saudi Arabia.
- Vaccine certificates are required to be certified by official health authorities from the country that provided the vaccination for incoming passengers, and the duration between receiving the last dose (the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or the first dose of a single dose vaccine) should not be less than 14 days before traveling to Saudi Arabia. Guests must carry their vaccine certificates at all times during their stay in the kingdom (or prove their health status through applications and accredited programs in the kingdom). Failure to comply with these regulations makes travellers subject to legal liabilities, in addition to being denied entry.
- IMMUNE Travellers (except Saudi Citizens and exempted categories) must fill out the Registration Immunization Information Form before travelling to Saudi Arabia through the following dedicated website: https://muqeem.sa/#/vaccine-registration/home to allow them to register their immunization data which will enable them to use TAWAKKALNA App.
(until further notice)
Documentation required

- All travellers excluding citizens, residents and GCC citizens must have medical insurance that covers the costs of COVID-19 treatment and institutional quarantine for a period of 14 days.
- All travellers must complete and sign the Health Conditions Commitment Form on board before arrival.
(until further notice)
- Travellers should monitor the Ministry of Health website (https://www.moh.gov.sa/en/Pages/default.aspx) for any announcements of changes to the list of countries as well as additional PCR requirements.
- All travellers must download and register on the Tetamman and Tawakkalna apps. Guests are required to locate their home through the Tetamman app within 8 hours of arrival.
- Guests should monitor COVID-19 symptoms and call 937 immediately if any of the symptoms appear, or go to the health center or emergency when necessary.
- Guests must log in to the Tetamman app and take a daily health assessment.
- Aircraft crews coming to Saudi Arabia and guests who need to leave the country are allowed to do so before completing the approved quarantine period according to the following conditions:
not showing symptoms of suspected COVID-19 infection;
going directly from quarantine to the airport;
presenting a negative PCR test result for a sample taken after arrival.
(until further notice)
• Are there any border restrictions? No
• Are there any exit restrictions? Yes
• Are there any testing requirements? Yes
• Are there any quarantine requirements? No
• Are there any vaccine requirements? No
• Are there any separate transit restrictions? No
• Is COVID-19-related documentation required? Yes
• Are there separate restrictions for overseas territories? No
• Are there any other restrictions? No
(until further notice)

Exit rules
• Outbound travel for local nationals / residents
- Saudi nationals are prohibited from traveling, both directly and indirectly, to Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Somalia, DRC, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Belarus and India.
- Saudi Citizens should have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, or have received one dose on the condition that (14) fourteen days has passed from the day of their first vaccine dose which matches the status on Tawakkalna APP.
- Saudi Citizens who had recovered from COVID-19 on the condition that (6) six months had not passed from their infection which matches the status on Tawakkalna APP.
- Saudi Citizens who are younger than the age of (18) eighteen years on the condition that they provide an insurance policy approved by the Saudi Central Bank which covers the treatments of COVID-19 abroad according to the instructions as established by the concerned entities.
(until further notice)

Testing requirements

• Who needs to test + Type of test and timeframe?
Many airlines require a negative COVID-19 PCR test prior to travel. Please consult your airline prior to outbound journeys.
(until further notice)
Internal / DomesticSummary
• Is a state of emergency in place? No
• Are curfews/lockdowns in place? No
• Can businesses operate? Yes
• Are there other restrictions on internal travel? No
• Are there any testing requirements? No
• Are there any vaccination requirements? No
• Are there any other restrictions in place? Yes
(Until further notice)
Other social distancing measures
• General Face masks must be worn in all public venues.
• Gatherings Social gatherings will continue to be limited. Authorities have resumed entertainment activities. Attendance is limited to vaccinated people whose status on Tawakkalna shows as “immune”. Attendance of outdoor events should not exceed 40% of the usual capacity.
• Other - Saudi nationals and expatriates must activate the Tawakalna app to prove their health status before entering their offices across the country. The app is also mandatory for citizens and residents entering malls, government offices or commercial establishments. - Pilgrims intending to perform Umrah will need to demonstrate immunity from COVID-19. Attestations of immunity can be submitted via the Umrah or Tawakalna mobile applications. Contact the relevant authorities for further details
(Until further notice)
Planned changes and internal conditionsStarting 1 August (tentatively), vaccines will be made compulsory for entering public, private and government establishments, as well as social, economic, cultural and entertaining activities.
Unvaccinated individuals below 18 and those who have medical exemption are excluded.
(Until further notice)
Summary - Changes to the following measures:
• Border restrictions? No
• Entry restrictions? Yes
• Testing requirements? No
• Quarantine requirements? No
• Vaccination requirements? Yes
• Transit restrictions? No
• COVID-19-related documentation required? No
• Restrictions for overseas territories? No
• Internal restrictions? No
• Outbound restrictions? No
• Other restrictions? No
(Until further notice)

23 Jun 2021 (Updated Daily)

Risk Summary


Please see our:

Medical and Security Alerts for Saudi Arabia

COVID-19 information for Saudi Arabia

Dedicated COVID-19 website


Saudi Arabia is a MEDIUM travel risk environment, largely due to the complexities of travelling within a highly conservative Islamic society and several underlying security threats. Violent crime does not pose a major risk to business travellers, though petty crime is a problem in some areas of Riyadh and Jeddah. The road and highway system is well developed; however, the incidence of road traffic accidents is extremely high by the standards of most developed countries. The country's conservative cultural norms and laws should be respected at all times, meaning that visitors should dress conservatively, avoid public displays of affection and adhere to gender segregation in relevant public spaces. Travel can be particularly complicated during the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

The country has a history of terrorism, which re-emerged in late 2014 with the rise to prominence in the wider region of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group. Domestic IS-linked cells generally target the security forces and Shia Muslim interests, though attacks have affected Westerners in a small number of incidents as well. There is also a threat of cross-border armed projectile attacks by the Yemen-based Houthi rebel group, though the Saudi air defense system remains capable of intercepting most of these.

This information is intended as a summary of the travel security environment; however, the risks can change at short notice during a crisis or evolving situation. Please check our travel security alerts to ensure you are informed of the most recent developments.


Vaccinations For Saudi Arabia
Hepatitis ARecommended for all travellers and expatriates,
Read more
Hepatitis BRecommended for most travellers and expatriates,
Read more
Meningitis - meningococcalUsually not recommended for business travellers
Read more
PolioTravellers from the countries listed below will
Read more
Yellow feverA yellow fever vaccination certificate is
Read more
Routine Vaccinations

Disclaimer  Privacy

Travel security advice provided in this report represents the best judgment of AEA International Holdings Pte. Ltd. Medical and health advice provided in this report represents the best judgment of AEA International Holdings Pte. Ltd. Advice in this report does not however provide a warranty of future results nor a guarantee against risk.

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