Saudi Central Bank assesses appending COVID-19 insurance for foreign tourists

Following the decision to provide COVID-19 insurance coverage for Saudi citizens traveling abroad taken on May 2, the Saudi Central Bank plans to expand it for non-Saudi tourists.

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The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) issued a statement announcing that it is evaluating the options of extending COVID-19 insurance coverage for foreign tourists who would visit the Kingdom. According to the statement, presumptive coverage would cover the journey time, and the bank would be in contact with the insurance firm that drafted the initial travel documents.

The Saudi Central Bank highlighted that the decision would be taken to protect the health and safety of Saudi citizens and expatriates. In this way, it would be ensured that all can have access to required health care services, the statement added.

The SAMA decision came following the institution’s approval of the same insurance coverage on May 2 for Saudi citizens who travel outside the Kingdom. A similar regulation was also adopted by the country’s Council of Cooperative Health Insurance.

Considering the insurance coverage, it is seen that it covers full health care services for insured travelers in case they became infected with COVID-19 while traveling abroad. Besides, other life-threatening medical circumstances, travel risks, quarantine procedures, medical expenses, and emergency medical evacuation in emergency cases are included in the scope of the insurance coverage.

It is seen that Saudi Arabia is taking successive decisions regarding the measures to cope with COVID-19 as the hajj season, which is a significant source of income for the Kingdom, approaches. In this sense, the Ministry of Hajj and Pilgrimage has recently announced that 60,000 prospective pilgrims, including 45,000 from abroad and 15,000 within the Kingdom, would be accepted to perform their worship this year.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) launched an online platform for airline businesses to register the immunization data of their foreign passengers who travel to the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia allows non-citizens who come from listed countries and are fully vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID-19 to enter the Kingdom without quarantine, since May 19.

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