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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

 

Singapore has implemented the SafeTravel Lanes to facilitate travel while safeguarding public health amidst the COVID-19  pandemic. Travellers should refer to the ICA SafeTravel website for the latest information on travelling to/from or transiting through Singapore. Residents of Singapore intending to depart Singapore are strongly advised to check the latest MOH Travel Advisory for outbound travel. For the latest updates on Singapore's COVID-19 situation, please refer to the MOH website at https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19.  

 

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A temporary suspension of entry into Saudi Arabia is in place for travellers coming from Afghanistan, Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey and Vietnam.  The temporary suspension of entry also applies to those who have transited through the abovementioned 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.  With effect from 1 December 2021, the suspension of entry for travellers from Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Brazil will be lifted for those who are fully-vaccinated; travellers from these countries must undergo a five-day quarantine upon arrival regardless of immunisation status.

 

Flights to and from Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe have been suspended.  Entry into Saudi Arabia has been suspended for non-Saudis travelling directly or indirectly from the afore-mentioned 14 countries.  Exceptions include those who have spent a period of no less than 14 days in another country from which health procedures in Saudi Arabia allow entry.  A five-day quarantine will be applied to all exempted groups arriving from the 14 countries regardless of immunisation status.

 

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.

 

From 20 May 2021, all travellers arriving in Saudi Arabia (apart from those in the exempted groups) will have to undergo a 7-day institutional quarantine at a facility under the supervision of the Saudi health authorities at their own expenses.  Travellers undergoing institutional quarantine will also be required to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test on the first and seventh day of their arrival, presumably at their own expenses.  In addition, visitors will be required to present proof of health insurance covering the costs of COVID-19 treatment. 

 

The following categories of travellers will be exempted from the institutional quarantine requirement:

 

  • Vaccinated travellers (who will be asked to show proof of two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Oxford-AstraZeneca/Moderna vaccines; or one dose of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine; or two doses of the Sinopharm/Sinovac vaccine and one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Oxford-AstraZeneca/Moderna/Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine);
  • Saudi citizens, Saudi citizens' spouses/sons/daughters, and domestic workers accompanying them;
  • Unvaccinated domestic workers accompanying a vaccinated resident;
  • Airline crew and sea crew;
  • Truck drivers and their assistants from all ports;
  • Those involved in health supply chains, according to Saudi Ministry of Health;
  • Those visiting as part of an official delegation; and
  • Those holding diplomatic visas, diplomats and the families residing with them.

 

With effect from 4 December 2021, partially-vaccinated travellers who had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Saudi Arabia would be allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia but must undergo a three-day institutional quarantine upon arrival.

 

Vaccinated non-Saudi travellers will also have to submit their vaccination details electronically, through the Muqeem portal accessible here, at least 72h prior to departure for Saudi Arabia.

 

Saudi residents who have been vaccinated overseas with Saudi-approved vaccines and who would like to register their vaccination with the Saudi Ministry of Health/update their immunity status on their Tawakkaina application can do so through the Saudi Ministry of Health portal accessible here.

 

From 1 August 2021, holders of valid Saudi tourist visas are allowed to enter Saudi Arabia. Fully vaccinated Saudi tourist visa holders will be allowed to enter Saudi Arabia without the need for an institutional quarantine provided that an official vaccination certificate is presented upon arrival, in addition to 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. Visitors will also be required to register their vaccination data via the Muqeem portal in addition to registering for the Tawakkalna application.

For queries related to Saudi tourist visas, please contact the Saudi Ministry of Tourism hotline at +966 920 000980.

 

As travel restrictions and requirements may change at short notice, 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 [Updated on 14 October 2021]

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, customs, and COVID-19 restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.

Demonstrations do occur in 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 (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

There have been reports of individuals receiving scam emails/messages purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas.  These emails/messages typically originate from an email address/social media 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/messages from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails/messages 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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