State Dept Travel Advisory - Level 2

Travel Advisory Issued For Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Travel Advisory issued by US, Canada, and UK governments
saudi arabia map

A Travel Advisory has been issued for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by the US Department of State.

This ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ Level 2 Travel Advisory ‘was published on September 17, 2019, related to potential attacks on civilians.’

Specifically, the State Department says ‘not to travel to within 50 miles of the border with Yemen due to ongoing conflicts.’

The U.S. government said in this Travel Advisory that it has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the following locations, as U.S. Mission personnel and their families are restricted from travel to:

  • Within 50 miles of the Saudi-Yemen border, including the cities of Jizan and Najran
  • Qatif in the Eastern province and its suburbs, including Awamiyah
  • U.S. Mission personnel and their families are not permitted to use the airport in Abha without Chief of Mission approval

Additionally, the Canadian government and the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office have issued similar high-level Travel Alerts when visiting Saudi Arabia during September 2019.

These Travel Advisories are important news since about 16 million people visit Saudi Arabia annually. These inbound passengers spent about US 26 billion dollars in 2017.

And, the introduction of a new electronic visa system is a turning point in the country’s history, starting a new chapter in Saudi Arabian tourism. 

Moreover, the “Vision 2030” plan aspires for international visitors to contribute 10 percent of Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product annually.

Traditionally, Saudi Arabia’s foreign tourism market has depended on about 2 million pilgrims who enter the Kingdom each year to perform Hajj. 

If you decide to travel to Saudi Arabia, the US State Department advises:

  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners. Stay at hotels with identifiable security measures.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Monitor local media and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh is located at Abdullah Ibn Hudhafah As Sahmi Street, Roundabout no. 9, Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. [email protected] 

Previously, on August 2, 2019, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said to ensure you are up-to-date on several Routine Vaccinations before visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Furthermore, measles vaccination is important since Saudi Arabia is included in the CDC’s worldwide measles alert issued during June 2019.

And, if you are traveling from a country with risk of the Yellow Fever virus transmission and older than 1 year of age, including those who visit for 12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of Yellow Fever virus transmission, proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination must be presented.

The Yellow fever vaccine, Stamaril, has limited availability in the United States.

If you need to be vaccinated before your trip, you may need to travel some distance and schedule your appointment well in advance.

Additionally, the CDC suggests additional travel vaccinations when visiting Saudia Arabia:

  • Hepatitis A and Typhoid

These vaccines and related medications can be found at most travel vaccination pharmacies in the USA. 

Pre-trip, vaccination counseling appointments can be scheduled at Vax-Before-Travel.

As an additional warning to Saudi Arabia visitors, the CDC says cases of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) have been identified in multiple countries in the Arabian Peninsula. Therefore, travelers should practice general hygiene measures, including regular handwashing before and after touching animals and avoiding contact with sick animals

Travel Alerts are published by Vax-Before-Travel.


Article by
Dani Reiter