Hello my dear readers! I have been away from posting for awhile. My family and I just took a 7 day vacation within Saudi, and now I have lots of good information and travel ideas for you. First though is the travel atmosphere here in KSA. Many people are taking advantage of travelling at this time for a variety of reasons. Many continue to go out cautiously as well, however here are some advantages of travel during this time.
Less people out travelling, means lower rates at hotels, airfare and car rental. It may be easier to get that hotel you were wanting to stay at, or room upgrade. This may also be true when renting a car. Try asking for an upgrade or added kilometers to your plan. There are a lot of positives here!
Travelling is safe if you are wearing a mask, sanitizing your hands frequently and paying attention to your hygiene. Here in Saudi there are many people working in tourist areas, or areas that get large traffic of folks (such as airports, mosques, train stations, visitor centers, etc.) who’s job it is to keep things clean. You won’t see that big a work force in other countries, so Saudi has the “keeping things clean” area covered.
Many people from foreign countries at this posting, are not allowed to fly into Saudi because of the new strain out there. You will find less spots available say at a tourist destination or on a tour, however you also have less tourists coming in, so it’s advantageous to book your tour. Saudi shuts things down pretty quickly in response to ongoing coronavirus developments around the world. This approach seemed to work last spring when they shut the airspace and borders to curb infection rates. This spring it is in response to the new strain as it states in the excerpt below:
“Travel will be banned from the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, and Turkey, as well as the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Japan.
The ban also applies to travelers who transited through any of the 20 countries in the 14 days before a planned visit to the Kingdom. Many passengers had been using Dubai as a transit hub from countries where there are no direct flights to Saudi Arabia, an option that is now no longer available.”“Saudi Arabia suspends entry from 20 countries from Wednesday”, Arabnews.com, 2 Feb. 2021
Finally, just the basics. This country takes Covid precautions seriously. Mask wearing, temperature checks, Tawakkalna App.
When travelling anywhere here you must be wearing your mask properly. The police or security personnel will let you know to keep it covering your nose and mouth. Adults, and kids old enough not to take it off, are required to wear it. The only time you are permitted to take your mask off is when you are eating, drinking, out at a restaurant or cafe, or really not near anyone else, like say by the seashore, or in the mountains.
Your temperature will be taken at airports, train stations, malls, tourist areas, mosques and stores. To enter you may be required additionally to show the green bar, which means “not infected” with Coronavirus on the Tawakkalna App. Here is the link below to the google store App which you will need to download once in Saudi.
Have a safe, enjoyable time while travelling! There is so much to see here within KSA!