Carry PCR test result for entering Saudi Arabia through Causeway | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Carry PCR test result for entering Saudi Arabia through Causeway

TDT | Manama

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Polymerase chain reaction or PCR test results are mandatory for entering Saudi Arabia through the King Fahd Causeway for non-Saudi citizens. The General Organisation for the King Fahd Causeway said this ahead of reopening the Causeway on Monday after remaining closed to non-commercial traffic from 10 September 2020 due to stem a surge in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

The Causeway authority also said that the PCR test should have been taken at least 72 hours before crossing into Saudi Arabia. Saudi is preparing to resume normal activities by lifting the suspension of travel and opening all ports, including the King Fahd Causeway.

The authority in a tweet said that entry into Saudi Arabia by the Saudis does not require any additional procedures, while negative PCR examination result is mandatory for non-Saudis. Bahrain also has similar requirements in place for Saudi citizens entering the Kingdom through the Causeway. Accordingly, travellers entering the Kingdom should present a negative PCR test result with a QR code, taken within 72 hours of arrival.

Authorities in Bahrain will accept test results on any official applications such as the “BeAware” app, “Tatamman”, “Sehhaty” and “Alhusen”, as well as others. Bahrain had cancelled mandatory PCR tests and quarantine for vaccinated and recovered passengers upon arrival in the Kingdom, starting Eid al-Fitr.

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“The reopening will further strengthen the socio-economic ties and trade between the two countries,” said Imad Al-Muhaisen, the CEO of the King Fahd Causeway Authority said. The authority, he said, also completed several projects during the shutdown period on both sides to best serve the travellers and enhance hassle-free transit.

“Through intense coordination with departments on both sides, the authority will apply regulations and requirements stipulated by the health authorities of the Kingdoms for departing and arriving travellers.” “Those coming from the Saudi side should have COVID-19 certificates ready on the Tawakkalna, the official Saudi Contact Tracing app, to gain entry,” he said, adding that those coming from the Bahrain side should also present similar certificates on applications approved by the GCC countries.

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Travellers are also allowed to present negative COVID-19 PCR test certificates taken within 72 hours at the time of arrival. However, the cancellation decision is not valid for those falling in the age groups of 6 to 17 years and those who are not vaccinated or recovered.

Al-Muhaisen further called on all to follow the updates issued by the health authorities of both Kingdoms regarding entry procedures. A gulf news report quoting several travellers had said the move is a welcoming decision to travellers across the GCC. Many of them had termed the decision as a “huge relief” for having relatives and businesses in the Kingdom.

Bahraini authorities earlier said that the Causeway opening would bring in $2.9 billion in revenues this year, citing the spending in 2019. Reportedly, nearly 11 million visitors reached Bahrain in 2019, of which 9 million were tourists. Saudis accounted for 88% of the visitors to the Kingdom.

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Ready for influx

The 25-kilometre long Causeway connects the western terminus of the al-Khour neighbourhood of Khobar, Saudi Arabia and the eastern terminus of Al Jasra in Bahrain. Since 8 March 2020, the Causeway was temporarily closed to passenger traffic to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

On 23 July 2020, the Causeway was reopened for allowing citizens to return without prior permission. In light of the latest decision, the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority had announced taking all necessary measures to handle the influx of travellers.

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In a meeting with the owners of tourist facilities, hotels, restaurants and cafes, BTEA has conveyed all measures required to prevent the spread of the outbreak.

Dr Najat Abul-Fath, the Director of the Public Health Department at the Ministry of Health, said that internal services are offered only to tourists showing proof of vaccination or the green logo on the BeAware Bahrain app or other apps approved by the GCC countries.

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Dr Fath also explained that internal services are allowed for those under 18 years of age. However, those under 12 years of age need a vaccinated or recovered person with them. Non-vaccinated individuals are not welcome to internal services of any of the facilities, including restaurants, cafes, pools, gyms, spas, hotels, etc.

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However, all groups of people could enjoy external services after ensuring masks, social distancing and other mandatory COVID-19 measures.

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Fatima Al-Sayrafi, Executive Vice President of the Tourism Authority, said they are in constant touch with all establishments in the tourism sector to ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols. Al Sayrafi said the authority is confident of the cooperation of the sector in overcoming these challenges.

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Sinan Ali Al-Jabri, Director of the Tourism Facilities and Services Department at the Authority, said the commitment of the tourism sector in ensuring COVID-19 protocols are instrumental in strengthening the economy and protecting the society.