Indo-Saudi defense cooperation on the upswing

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: There are certain travel requirements that Saudis, expats and tourists need for entering Saudi Arabia.

The main requirement is a Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) negative test certificate, issued from a verified laboratory no more than 72 hours before departure to the Kingdom.

Travelers will also need vaccination certificates from Tawakkalna, and registration on the Muqeem and Quddum platforms.

Upon arrival, all travelers will have their temperature checked and they should be registered as immune from COVID-19.

FASTFACT

Quddum allows visitors to register and update their COVID-19-related health data at least 72 hours before arrival.

Immunity for non-Saudi citizens and non-residents as a fully vaccinated person over 12 with a booster dose from vaccines certified by the Kingdom and the World Health Organization, such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna, or one dose of Johnson and Johnson’s inoculation.

An airport official checking temperature of a passenger at the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.

All guests have to submit proof of their vaccination via the Quddum platform, which has been launched to facilitate entry procedures.

Quddum allows visitors to register and update their COVID-19-related health data at least 72 hours before arrival.

Immunity for Saudi citizens is defined by their status on the Tawakkalna App, whereas for expats it requires full vaccination, provided that any doses received outside the Kingdom are registered via the Ministry of Health Platform through https://eservices.moh.gov.sa/CoronaVaccineRegistration

Speaking to Arab News about his travel experience, Jennesse John, who works at the King Saud University, said: “I have returned from Kerala, India to Saudi Arabia along with my family recently. It went very smoothly since we had two doses of the vaccine in Saudi Arabia before we traveled on vacation.”

He added: “All we did was follow Saudi Arabia’s travel regulations closely.”

Hanouf Albalawi, in Riyadh, told Arab News: “My colleague made a mistake, and it was that she did not register in Muqeem before visiting the Kingdom. She said she didn’t know she had to.

“When she arrived in Saudi Arabia, she had to create a new Tawakkalna, and she only had one week to stay, so the issue she faced was that her status in the Tawakkalna app did not change for her entire stay, which was five days.

“She couldn’t visit any of the places she had in mind. We contacted Tawakkalna customer service to ask if there is anything we can do to make this process faster, but unfortunately, there was no other way.”

Faiz Al-Najdi, an engineer in Riyadh, told Arab News: “I recently returned from vacation with my wife from my home city Karachi, Pakistan. At Riyadh, airport departure processes went smoothly. I had to show them copies of PCR, vaccination details, copies of Tawakkalna and Sehaty. However, upon arrival in Karachi it was a mess.

“They demanded to see the vaccination details online on Tawakkalna, but it was not working; we failed to open it. Many people like us suffered because of this issue. I had a long argument with them as to why they were demanding to see it online when I was showing them the photocopies of the vaccination details from Tawakkalna. I told them we had traveled from Riyadh, where authorities had checked and allowed us to travel, then they were satisfied. This left them with no answer but let us proceed,” he said.

“Upon arrival at Riyadh airport, things were ok. The official at the immigration desk was polite. She checked the PCR and Tawakkalna papers. I had those ready with me, and she stamped our passports and let us go,” he added.

Ayman Hassan, an Egyptian expat working in Riyadh, told Arab News: “Many of my friends and colleagues recently returned from Egypt. The procedures at the airport, they said, went very smoothly. They didn’t take too much time since they had already taken the two vaccine doses in Saudi Arabia before traveling on their vacations. All they had to do was to carefully follow travel guidelines: Negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report, vaccination certificates from Tawakkalna, and Muqeem registration.”

 

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