Skip to main content
03 Mar 2020 | 09:56 AM UTC

Saudi Arabia: New entry restrictions for GCC citizens and residents March 3 /update 8

Government implements new entry restrictions for GCC citizens and residents March 3; confirm travel itineraries

entry/exit
health
transportation
SAU

Event

Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday, March 3, that citizens and residents of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries would be barred from entering the kingdom for 14 days after returning from outside the region due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Travelers coming from a GCC state must spend 14 continuous days there and show no symptoms of the virus in order to gain entry to Saudi Arabia.

To date, there has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.  

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "very high" at the global level.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and take appropriate health precautions.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.