Saudi Arabia suspends international flights over new variant

Our Reporter

Saudi Arabia has suspended all international passenger flights for one week, citing fears from the spread of a new strain of COVID-19, an official said on Monday.

Entry to the kingdom via land and sea ports will also be suspended for one week, the official news agency, SPA, quoted an Interior Ministry official as saying.

If conditions persist, the one-week ban can be extended for both kinds of arrivals.

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The measures came as a precaution “until medical information about the nature of this virus becomes clear, and to protect the public health of citizens and expatriates and ensure their safety,” according to the report.  Foreign flights that are currently inside the kingdom’s airspace will be allowed to leave, the official said.

The government has ordered those who returned from one of the European countries or any country where the new strain has appeared to self-isolate for two weeks and to be tested for COVID-19.