All Saudi Arabian citizens will be required to have had two COVID-19 vaccine doses before traveling outside the Kingdom from August 9, the Kingdom’s interior ministry announced on Monday.
The new requirement will not be applied to children under the age of 12 provided that their travel insurance policy covers expenses relating to COVID-19 and is pre-approved by the central bank of Saudi Arabia.
People who were infected by the virus in the last six months and those who were infected with COVID-19 but received the first dose of the vaccine are also exempt.
The decision was made based on new waves of infection globally, new mutations, and the “low efficacy of one vaccination dose against these mutations,” the statement from the interior ministry read.
Saudi Arabia has so far administered more than 20 million vaccine doses, according to the health ministry. This number is expected to rise soon following Monday’s announcement and the ministry’s decision last week to begin administering the second dose of the country’s approved vaccines to all age groups.