Saudi Arabia will partially resume international flights from tomorrow (Tuesday September 15), allowing “exceptional categories” of citizens and residents to travel in and out of the kingdom, according to state news agency Spa.

It marks the first time the country has opened its air borders since March when all international flights were suspended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

However, the complete lift of restrictions on the departure and return of citizens and the “opening of air, sea and land outlets” will not be permitted until January 1, 2021, an Interior Ministry official told the agency.

“Exceptional categories” permitted to travel outside of Saudi Arabia and return from tomorrow, according to certain requirements, include:

*Civilian and military government employees assigned to official tasks;

*Personnel at Saudi diplomatic and consular missions, as well as attachés abroad and personnel regional and international organisations, their families and companions;

*Personnel at permanent jobs in public, private or non-profit facilities outside the kingdom and those who have job tasks in companies or commercial institutions outside the Kingdom.
*Businesspeople required to travel to conclude commercial and/or industrial activities, as well as export, marketing and sales directors whose tasks obligate them to visit clients;
*Patients whose treatment requires travel outside the kingdom, based on medical reports, particularly those with cancer or in need of organ transplantation.
*Students on scholarships, or those studying at their own expense and trainees on medical fellowship programmes whose studies or training require travel to the countries in which they study or train, and their dependents.

*Humane cases including a male or female citizen who seeks reunification with his/her relatives residing outside the kingdom and the death of a husband, wife, parent, or child outside the kingdom;
*Expatriates outside the kingdom and their dependents who can show evidence of their legal residence outside the kingdom;
*Participants in regional and international official sporting events, including players and technical and administrative staff.


In addition, GCC citizens and non-Saudi residents with valid residency or visitors’ visas will be allowed to enter the kingdom, provided they can show proof that they are COVID-19 negative.

The ministry official said the lifting of travel restrictions would take effect from 6am on Tuesday.