Saudi suspends flights, shuts borders over new Covid fears

Saudi Arabia has suspended all international flights for a week amid concerns over a new strain of the coronavirus reported in a number of European countries, an official source at the Interior Ministry said.


The kingdom has also decided to close its land as well as sea borders, Saudi Press Agency reported.


The closure of borders may be extended by one more week to ensure the health and safety of citizens.


The decisions, which have been taken as precautionary measures, are the following:

1. Temporary suspension of all international flights for travellers, except in emergency cases, for a week, which can be extended for another week. However, the foreign flights that are currently in the kingdom are allowed to leave.


2. Suspension of the entry to the kingdom through land and seaports temporarily for a period of one week and it can be extended for another week.


3. Everyone, who has returned from one of the European countries or any country where the new strain has appeared after December 8, must adhere to the following:

a. Self-isolate for a period of two weeks from the date of his arrival in the Kingdom.

b. Undergo coronavirus tests during his isolation period after every five days.

c. Anyone, who has returned from or passed through a European country or any country where the new strain of Covid-19 appeared over the past three months, must take a coronavirus test.


The movement of goods, commodities and supply chains from countries where the new strain of Covid-19 has not appeared are excluded from the above-mentioned measures, as determined by the Ministry of Health in coordination with the Ministry of Transport.


The measures will be reviewed in the light of the developments related to the pandemic based on the assessment of the Ministry of Health, according to the source.




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