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Travel Notice for Saudi Arabia

11 November 2020
There have been reports of a bomb attack during a Remembrance Day ceremony at a non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah on 11 November 2020, which left several injured. Singaporeans in Saudi Arabia are advised to exercise increased vigilance and caution during this period, and to take all necessary precautions to ensure their personal safety, including avoiding areas with large crowds or where foreigners are known to gather.

Due to the ongoing conflict in Yemen, Singaporeans should also avoid non-essential travel to areas surrounding the Saudi-Yemeni border. Over the past year, there have been reports of military skirmishes along parts of the Saudi-Yemeni border and occasional drone/missile attacks in Saudi Arabia including on urban areas. We advise Singaporeans to keep abreast of the local news and to heed the advice of the local authorities.

 

The COVID-19 situation in Saudi Arabia remains serious. Singaporeans in Saudi Arabia should abide by the Saudi government’s COVID-19 precautionary measures including wearing a mask in public and avoiding large social gatherings. Failure to abide by the measures could result in severe penalties

In addition, Singaporeans are strongly encouraged to eRegister with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/ so that we can contact you should the need arise. Singaporeans are also advised to stay in touch with your family and friends so that they know you are safe. Those who need consular assistance could contact the Singapore Embassy in Riyadh or Singapore Consulate-General in Jeddah or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24 hours) at :

 

Embassy of the Republic of Singapore - Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) 
Address: Diplomatic Quarter Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Telephone: +966 (11) 480-3855 or +966 50 019-1220
Fax: +966 (11) 483-0632
Email: 
singemb_ruh@mfa.sg

 

Consulate-General of the Republic of Singapore - Saudi Arabia (Jeddah) 
Address: Villa No. 5, Mohammed Tawfic Al Abbasi Street Off Hera'a Street,(Behind Danube Madinah Road) Opposite Al-Ghais Mosque
Telephone: +966-(12) 607-3980 / 3981 or + 966 50 559-6481
Telefax: +966-(12) 607-4280
E-mail: 
singcg_jed@mfa.sg

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-Hours)

Address: Tanglin, Singapore 248163

Tel: +65 6379-8800 / 8855

Fax: +65 6476-7302

Email: mfa_duty_officer@mfa.gov.sg

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Ministry of Health (MOH) Public Health Advisory

Please refer to the MOH COVID-19 website for updates on the latest precautionary measures implemented to further reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 to Singapore. These include travel advisories and further restrictions on travellers coming into Singapore.

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On 2 February 2021, the Saudi Ministry of Interior announced that with effect from 9pm on Wednesday, 3 February 2021, it will temporarily suspend the entry into Saudi Arabia for travellers coming from 20 countries, namely the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The temporary suspension of entry also applies to those who have transited through those 20 countries in the 14 days prior to seeking entry into Saudi Arabia.  Exceptions from the temporary suspension of entry will be made for Saudi citizens, diplomats, healthcare practitioners and their families.

 

Travellers seeking entry into Saudi Arabia must present a PCR test certificate certifying that they are free from COVID-19 infection, with the test taken not more than 72 hours from their departure to Saudi Arabia. Upon entry into Saudi Arabia, they will be subject to the prevailing Saudi Ministry of Health quarantine measures which, as announced on 2 January 2021, include the following:

  • Travellers coming from countries where cases of the new B117 variant have been registered must observe a 7-day home quarantine, and take a PCR test on the 6th day.
  • Other travellers must observe either a 3-day home quarantine and take a post-arrival PCR test, or a 7-day home quarantine.      

 

We advise you to contact the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Singapore [+65 6734 5876; sgemb@mofa.gov.sa] for the latest restrictions or for further clarifications.

 

As reckless driving is quite common in some parts of Saudi Arabia, do exercise extra caution if driving in Saudi Arabia and put on the seatbelt when travelling in any vehicle in Saudi Arabia. 

While crimes such as picket-pocketing, robbery and burglary are not common in Saudi Arabia, they do exist.  Women should avoid walking around alone particularly at night, to avoid the risk of harassment.

Singaporeans intending to travel to the desert and other nature parks in Saudi Arabia should ensure that they are accompanied by an experienced guide and bring along a GPS device if possible. 

Singaporeans visiting Saudi Arabia should familiarise themselves with Saudi laws and regulations, and abide by them.   Saudi laws are based on the Quran and Islamic jurisprudence, and are applied very strictly. 

All travellers entering or departing Saudi Arabia must comply with the prevailing customs declaration procedures/requirements as indicated on the Saudi Customs website at https://www.customs.gov.sa/en/declare. Travellers should also be prepared to pay the applicable customs duties and value-added tax that may be imposed. Alcohol, pork and pork products are not allowed.  Anyone caught trying to smuggle such items into Saudi Arabia or are found in possession of such contraband will be punished severely.  There are also strict penalties for anyone found consuming or in possession of narcotics, and strict laws against pornography.

During the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, eating, drinking, and smoking in public are disallowed between sunrise and sunset.

Public displays of affection, as well as mixing between individuals of different genders who are not married or directly-related, are frowned upon and may result in prosecution.  Homosexual activities could also result in prosecution. 

There are no avenues for demonstrations or other forms of public dissent.  Saudi Arabia also has strict laws against making remarks, both offline and online, critical of the royal family and the government. 

There are stiff penalties for over-stayers.  Visitors should thus check the validity of their visas very carefully. 

The city of Makkah and parts of the city of Madinah are off-limits to non-Muslims.  There are strong punishments for anyone caught trespassing into these areas.

Although the abaya (a loose, long fabric worn over other clothing that covers the body from the shoulders to the wrists and the ankles) is no longer mandatory for foreign ladies, many foreign ladies in Saudi Arabia continue to don the abaya when out in the public.  In some areas, women are also expected to cover their head and hair.  Men are expected to cover up to their knees in public, and not wear singlets and other revealing tops.

The weather in Saudi Arabia gets extremely hot in the summer period between May and September.  In July and August, temperatures can go as high as 50 degrees Celsius during the day.  The air is also very dry.  Please stay well hydrated at all times. In the cooler months, the temperature at night could go as low as 10 degrees Celsius in the cities, and below 0 degrees Celsius in the desert.  

Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [13 November 2019]

In view of the upcoming school holidays, Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws and customs restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.

Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth. Failure to do so is an immigration offence in Malaysia and the penalties can be severe, including detention, a fine, and a ban from future entry into the country.

In 2019, demonstrations have occurred in several major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities. 

When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.

For those planning to travel, here are some tips:

Before travelling

·  Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.

·  Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.

·  Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.

·  eRegister with us on our website (https://www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.

 

While travelling

·  Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.

·  Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.

·  Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrests or terror attacks.

·  Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.

In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

Advisory: Email Scams [Updated: 12 May 2016]

There has been an increasing number of reports in recent years of individuals receiving scam emails purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas.  These emails typically originate from an email address known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance.  The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.

MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously.  Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance.  If you receive such emails from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails before responding to their request.  It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc.  Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails.  Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately.  Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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