Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism announced in a statement that tourist visa holders will be able to re-enter the country beginning August 1.
“Vaccinated travellers with a negative Covid-19 PCR test and a vaccination certificate will be allowed to enter without being institutionally isolated,” the ministry said. Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be accepted, according to the announcement.
On Tuesday, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia discussed ways to relax Covid-19 travel restrictions which have trapped about 400,000 Pakistani workers at home, based on foreign ministers of the two countries, according to Reuters.
The issue was raised in Islamabad with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, who is in Pakistan for a one-day visit.
After fissures in their historically amicable relations early this year, Al Saud is the first high-ranking Saudi official to visit Pakistan.
At a joint news conference in Islamabad, his Pakistani colleague Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that travel Covid-19 restrictions had stranded roughly 400,000 of the country’s over two million Pakistani workers in Saudi Arabia.
“They’re up against it,” he said. “You’re aware of the travel limitations and immunization difficulties.”
The kingdom, which prohibits direct travel from Pakistan, has only approved the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines, so anyone entering without one must undergo quarantine, which many Pakistani employees claim they cannot pay.