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Immigration restrictions and quarantines due to Coronavirus Outbreak- GCC & MENA

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus is being monitored closely and the governments in many jurisdictions including the Middle East have taken immigration–related measures in order to contain the spread of the virus.

Bahrain entry and transit ban for foreign nationals who visited China, Iran, Iraq or South Korea or Thailand in the 14 days prior Kuwait entry ban for nationals of China, Hong Kong SAR, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. Quarantine for travellers who have been tested positive against COVID-19 on arrival in the United Arab Emirates

By: Fragomen

As of now, the following restrictions have been imposed in the region,

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Bahrain

Entry and transit ban for foreign nationals who have visited China, Iran, Iraq or South Korea or Thailand in the 14 days prior to travel to Bahrain (this does not apply to nationals of Bahrain and other GCC countries, foreign residents in Bahrain as well as military personnel and those with a special approval from the Ministry of Interior).

 Restrictions: no visa-on-arrival will be issued to individuals who have been to Hong Kong SAR, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand in the 14 days prior to travelling to Bahrain; they must obtain a visa prior to their departure (this does not apply to those with a special approval from the Ministry of Interior).  

 Quarantine for nationals of Bahrain and other GCC countries as well as foreign residents in Bahrain who have visited or transited through China, Hong Kong SAR, Iran or Iraq in the 14 days prior to travel to Bahrain.

 Self-quarantine for nationals of Bahrain and other GCC countries as well as foreign residents in Bahrain who have visited or transited through Egypt, Italy or South Korea in the 14 days prior to travel to Bahrain.

Egypt

Entry ban forQatari nationals.

Iraq: 

Entry ban for nationals of China and Iran.

 Entry ban for foreign nationals who have visited China, Hong Kong SAR, Iran, Italy, Japan, Macau SAR, Singapore, South Korea or Thailand in the 14 days prior to travel to Iraq.  

 Quarantine for nationals of Iraq and foreign residents in Iraq who have visited China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Macau SAR, Singapore, South Korea or Thailand in the 14 days prior to travel to Iraq.

Jordan

Entry and transit ban for foreign nationals who have visited China, Iran, Italy or South Korea in the 14 days prior to travel to Jordan (this does not apply to nationals of Jordan, their spouses and children, Chinese and Italian official delegations and diplomats).

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Kuwait

Entry ban for nationals of China, Hong Kong SAR, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.  

 Entry ban for foreign nationals with a residence permit or visa issued by China or Hong Kong SAR who have visited China or Hong Kong SAR in the 14 days prior to entry.

 Entry ban for foreign nationals who have visited Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria or Thailand in the 14 days prior to travel to Kuwait (this does not apply to nationals of Kuwait).

 Entry ban for nationals of GCC countries, including nationals of Kuwait, travelling with their national identity card (they must use their passport for entry).

 Restrictions: effective 8 March 2020 passengers arriving from Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Georgia, India, Lebanon, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria and Turkey must obtain a medical certificate issued by an authorized health center indicating that they are free from the coronavirus (COVID-19) (this does not apply to Kuwaiti nationals).

Lebanon

Entry and transit ban for nationals of China, Hong Kong SAR, Iran, Italy, Japan, Macau SAR, Taiwan SAR, and South Korea (this does not apply to those who have a valid residence permit in Lebanon, are family members of a national of Lebanon, are members of UNFIL, or have one of the following documents issued by Lebanon: an expired passport, a national identity card or a civil extract).

 Entry and transit ban for foreign nationals who have visited or transited through China, Hong Kong SAR, Iran, Italy, Japan, Macau SAR, Taiwan SAR or South Korea in the past 14 days (this does not apply to those who have a valid residence permit in Lebanon).

Oman

Entry ban for nationals of China, Iran and Italy (this does not apply to individuals with valid residence permit and returning to Oman).

 Entry ban for foreign nationals who have visited China, Iran, Italy or South Korea in the 14 days prior to travel to Oman (this does not apply to Omani nationals).  

 Entry ban for nationals of GCC countries, including nationals of Oman, travelling with their national identity card (they must use their passport for entry).

 Quarantine for passengers arriving from Japan or Singapore (this does not apply to nationals of China, Iran and Italy who are not allowed to enter).

Qatar 

Entry ban for individuals who have been to Egypt (including those holding a valid residence permit for Qatar) in the 14 days prior to 1 March 2020 (this does not apply to Qatari nationals).

 Entry ban for nationals of GCC countries, including nationals of Qatar, travelling with their national identity card (they must use their passport for entry).

 Self-quarantine for foreign nationals who have been to China, Iran, Japan, Singapore or South Korea in the 14 days prior to 1 March 2020.

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Saudi 

Entry ban for foreign nationals who have visited or transited through China, Hong Kong SAR, Iran, Macau SAR or Taiwan SAR in the 14 days prior to travel to Saudi Arabia.  

Entry ban for foreign nationals with a visit visa for tourism travelling from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Macau SAR, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Somalia, South Korea, Syria, Thailand, Taiwan SAR, Uzbekistan, Vietnam or Yemen.

 Entry ban for foreign nationals travelling with a visit visa for Umrah; and (only reported by IATA) for holders of a visit visa for tourism travelling to Medina (MED).

 Entry ban for nationals of GCC countries, including nationals of Saudi Arabia, travelling with their national identity card (they must use their passport for entry).

 Restrictions: nationals and foreign residents of GCC countries can enter only if they remained in that GCC country continuously for a minimum of 14 days before travelling to Saudi Arabia.

 Restrictions: effective 7 March 2020 individuals travelling from any country considered by the Saudi authorities as affected by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, and who resided in those countries during the 14 days prior to entering Saudi Arabia, must have a medical certificate issued by an authorized health center, indicating that they are free from the coronavirus (COVID-19); the certificate must be issued no earlier than 24 hours before anticipated entry (this applies to holders of all types of visas and regardless of the date of issuance of the visa).

 Restrictions: entry of all individuals travelling from Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates is allowed only through the international airports in Riyadh (RUH), Jeddah (JED) and Dammam (DMM); entry through land borders with these three countries is restricted to commercial trucks only and under specific conditions.

UAE

Entry and transit ban for nationals of Iran (only reported by IATA). This does not apply to holders of valid residence permit for the United Arab Emirates, provided that they obtain an ‘OK to board’ approval prior to travelling.

 Entry ban for nationals of GCC countries, including nationals of the United Arab Emirates, travelling with their national identity card (they must use their passport for entry).

 Quarantine for travellers who have been tested positive against COVID-19 on arrival in the United Arab Emirates. Medical screening for travellers arriving from high-risk countries (this does not apply to transit passengers), including a swab test.

Fragomen will continue monitoring the situation and will revert with additional information as developments regarding any other policies that may occur.

 Please visit this website for a summary of current entry restrictions by jurisdiction and for additional insights on this topic.