The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) announces that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has granted approval for entry of individuals vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine starting from January 1, 2022.
Saudi Arabia joined 101 other countries approving entry of individuals vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine following the extensive cooperation and discussions between Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia and RDIF, supported by the Ministry of Investments of the country. Granting approval for Sputnik V vaccinated to visit Saudi Arabia and further joint steps in fighting the pandemic were in focus of the meeting between Health Minister of Saudi Arabia Fahad Al-Jalajel, Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia Khalid Al-Falih and RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev in Riyadh earlier in November.
The decision reached will enable Muslims from all over the world vaccinated with Sputnik V to participate in the Hajj and the Umrah pilgrimages to Islam’s holiest sites in the cities of Mecca and Medina.
Upon entering the country, persons vaccinated with Sputnik V will be required to quarantine for 48 hours and take a PCR test.
Countries opening their borders for those who have received the Sputnik V vaccine are demonstrating the will to help their tourism industry and businesses to recover more quickly. As Saudi Arabia opens its borders for the Sputnik V vaccinated, this decision will play an important role for increasing the tourist flows and establishing new business ties between Russia and Saudi Arabia, including through activities of The Russia-Saudi Economic Council.
Established in 2019, The Council aims to develop bilateral economic and trade ties as well as investments between Russia and Saudi Arabia across all sectors. It is Co-Chaired by Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the RDIF and HRH Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz, the Kingdom’s National Guard Minister.
Overall, separating authorization of COVID vaccines from vaccination certificates is another important step to avoiding vaccine discrimination and supporting governments’ efforts in safely re-opening borders for both locals and tourists.
Key requirements of 102 countries which allow visits following Sputnik V vaccination[*]:
- Sputnik V vaccinated individuals may visit a total of 31 countries without any additional COVID-19 related approval;
- Other 71 countries request negative PCR or positive antibody tests or have additional requirements at entry.
Only 15 countries require vaccines other than Sputnik V. Only 5 of these countries (less than 9% of international travel journeys), including the U.S. (representing less than 3%), fully rely on the WHO’s approved list of vaccines which Sputnik V is expected to be added to this year.