Second dose of COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for traveling outside Saudi Arabia from Aug. 9

Saudi Arabia's Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah receives his second dose of COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine in Riyadh on Jan. 7, 2021. (Saudi Ministry of Health handout photo via AFP)

An official source at the Ministry of Interior stated that all Saudi citizens must take the second dose of coronavirus vaccine to travel outside the Kingdom effective from Aug. 9 (Muharram 1).

There is an exemption for children under the age of 12 years; with a condition of submitting, before the travel; an insurance policy approved by the Saudi Central Bank to cover risks against COVID-19 outside the Kingdom.

As for those who have recovered from coronavirus infection; they need to take one dose of the vaccine for the travel; with a condition that their recovery took place within less than six months; the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The ministry spokesman said that this decision was in accordance with the precautionary measures and preventive protocols recommended by the Ministry of Health.

“This is also in the context of the tireless efforts being made to stem the spread of the pandemic; especially in view of the outbreak of new waves of the epidemic in the world; and emergence of mutated variants of the virus and the low effectiveness of the single dose of vaccines in the face of these mutations;” the spokesman said.

The spokesman attributed the decision also to studies and scientific research that proved that receiving two doses of the vaccine is enough to protect from complications; caused by the mutated variants of the virus.