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HomeUncategorizedVarying COVID-19 measures in different countries still a concern for Saudis

Varying COVID-19 measures in different countries still a concern for Saudis

Tue, 2021-05-25 23:51

JEDDAH: The official announcement allowing vaccinated individuals to travel abroad as of May 17 came as a huge sigh of relief to many Saudis who were forced to stay grounded due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

However, the ever-changing COVID-19 measures in different countries could still cause problems, even for vaccinated Saudi travelers.
One concern is the potential extra costs involved as some countries may require visitors to quarantine upon arrival.
Some young Saudis say they would prefer to stay at home this summer. Twenty-five-year-old Ali Hussain feared spending his entire vacation in quarantine: “Your vacation is a limited number of days to begin with, and such sudden measures are a hindrance.”
He said international destinations keep changing their rules, from the quarantining conditions to the PCR tests required upon arrival, which can upset travel plans completely.
He highlighted the financial burden caused by such uncertain circumstances.
Hussain said: “You have to be prepared for the cost of a trip doubling if you have stay longer than intended because of the PCR test.
“The point of traveling for vacation is to enjoy your holiday, not to feel restricted and overthink what might happen. With such measures and conditions, I’m against traveling,” he said.
Another Saudi, Khalid Al-Ghamdi, 25, said he did not want the same experience as a friend who went on holiday, only to be quarantined and waste his annual leave.
“My friend Muhannad traveled to Egypt for a week and was surprised to be asked to quarantine upon arrival, given that he had received two vaccinations. But the vaccine did not prevent him from needing to quarantine in Egypt,” said Al-Ghamdi.

The point of traveling for vacation is to enjoy your holiday, not to feel restricted and overthink what might happen.

Ali Hussain

Al-Ghamdi said that his friend was forced to postpone his return date, contact his work, extend his leave and withdraw additional sums to pay for the extra costs.
Such experiences persuaded Al-Ghamdi to explore domestic travel options.
“I am convinced it is much better to spend my vacation this summer inside the Kingdom and explore Jizan, Abha, Jeddah, Yanbu or NEOM.”
The Saudi authorities allowed vaccinated Saudis and those who have recovered from COVID-19 to travel abroad.
The Ministry of Interior said that citizens who are fully vaccinated or have received a first dose at least 14 days before departure will be allowed to travel. 
Talat Zaki Hafiz, a financial analyst, earlier told Arab News: “I believe one should not travel abroad unless on urgent business need or for family reasons, especially to countries suffering badly from the pandemic.”
Unnecessary travel to countries that are badly affected may expose travelers to infection and mean that they cannot receive adequate medical care, Hafiz said.
“Let us all not forget that the Saudi government provides free treatment to all people with COVID-19 irrespective of nationality, which may not be available in some other countries,” he said.
While Hafiz appreciates the government’s decision to lift the ban, he believes people should “use it wisely” as “safety comes first.”

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