Saudi Arabia to impose hefty fines on travelers coming from red-list countries

A penalty will also be imposed on those responsible for transportation.

Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) announced the imposition of a fine of 500,000 Saudi Riyals ( Rs 99,10,641) on travelers coming on from the countries which have been red-listed by the Kingdom due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, local media reported on Sunday.

A penalty will also be imposed on those responsible for transportation.

The public prosecution said that travelers coming to the Kingdom on international flights, those responsible for transport and travel operators through entry ports must disclose whether they have visited any of the countries affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 or any of its modified strains. If they fail to disclose this, severe punitive measures will be taken against them, the statement said.

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On July 28, the Saudi interior ministry announced a three-year travel ban on citizens who travel to the countries which have been red-listed by the Kingdom due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travel to the banned countries is a clear violation of COVID-19 related travel restrictions and the kingdom’s updated instructions.

“The violator will expose himself to legal accountability and severe penalties upon his return, and will prevent him from traveling outside the Kingdom for a period of three years,” SPA reported.

The countries on the kingdom’s red list are the UAE, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Ethiopia, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Belarus, India, and Vietnam.

Saudi citizens are prohibited from traveling directly or indirectly to these countries unless they obtain special permission to do so.

Residence permits for expats stranded abroad due to current travel restrictions will be extended until August 31 automatically and for free. Apart from residents, the validity of visitor visas for visitors who are in countries from which entry has been suspended will also be extended until August 31.

Saudi Arabia’s tourism ministry has reopened its borders starting August 1, 2021, only for fully vaccinated tourists excluding India.

On July 27, Saudi Arabia announced that unvaccinated citizens will be barred from travelling overseas. The rule will be effective from August 9 (Muharram).

On July 26, the Saudi ministry of health announced that over half of the Kingdom’s population has become immune by at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Kingdom on Sunday recorded 1,084 new COVID-19 infections, bringing its total to 526,814 cases and 8,249 deaths.

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