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Saudi Closes Off All Borders due to Scare of ‘New COVID-19 Strain’

A new form of threat has emerged from the identification of a new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which forced the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia along with other global nations to implement stricter travel measures. Saudi has taken the maximum precaution by suspending all international flights for travelers for a week.

This comes after the reported emergence of a new strain of COVID-19 in European countries, particularly in the United Kingdom.

Saudi Closes Off All Borders due to Scare of ‘New COVID-19 Strain’

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Saudi Halts All Int’l Flights due to ‘New COVID-19 Strain’ Threat

The Saudi government announced that some flights will be allowed under exceptional circumstances. However, anyone coming from any European nation and other high-risk countries is required to undergo quarantine for two weeks. This will also come with a COVID-19 test every five days, the Arab News reported.

In the meantime, the government also noted that all travelers who returned to the Gulf State within the last three months must also undergo a swab test.

The travel restriction is also expected to affect the movement of goods, commodities, and supply chains from countries where the mutated virus has not appeared will continue as usual.

As per a statement posted by the Saudi Press Agency on December 20 (Sunday), the Kingdom shall enforce the following measures:

First: Suspending all international flights for travelers, except in exceptional cases, temporarily for one week, which can be extended for another week, with the exception of foreign flights that are currently inside the Kingdom, they are allowed to leave.

Second: Suspending entry to the Kingdom through land and seaports temporarily for one week, which can be extended for another week.

Third: Anyone who has returned from one of the European countries or any country where the new strain has appeared after 08/12/2020, as determined by the Ministry of Health must adhere to the following:

  1. Home isolation for two weeks, starting from the date of entering the Kingdom.
  2. Take a COVID-19 test during the isolation period and retake the test every five days.

Fourth: Anyone who has returned from or passed through a European country, or any country where the new strain has appeared, during the past three months, must take a COVID-19 test.

These travel restrictions will be reviewed in line with coronavirus-related developments that will arise.

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