Saudis wanting to travel need two Covid jabs: ministry

Any Saudi citizen wishing to travel abroad will be required to have had two doses of coronavirus vaccine from next month, tightening existing measures, the interior ministry said on Monday.

“The second dose of the vaccine against Covid will be a condition of all overseas travel for all citizens from August 9, 2021,” the ministry wrote in a statement published by the official SPA news agency.

Children under 12, those with approved health insurance, patients recovered from coronavirus within the last six months and former Covid patients having received one dose of vaccine will be exempt.

Officials said in May that vaccines would be mandatory from August to access public and private spaces, including public transport. At that time only a single dose was required for travel abroad.

In addition, only vaccinated employees will be able to return to their places of work, whether in the public or private sector.

Saudi Arabia is hosting the annual hajj pilgrimage, with just 60,000 residents or citizens of the kingdom allowed to participate. Authorities said Sunday that not a single Covid case had been reported so far among pilgrims.

The health ministry, however, reported an additional 1,055 Covid cases and 12 fatalities Sunday in the kingdom, bringing the total number of infections to 509,576 and the total death toll to 8,075.

More than 22 million vaccine doses have been administered in the country of 34 million people, the health ministry on Saturday.

State media said on July 11 that 17.4 million citizens and residents had received one dose, while 2.2 million had received two doses.