Saudi Arabia suspends flights from 7 countries as new covid-19 variant raises concerns

RIYADH: 27, NOVEMBER, 2021: Saudi Arabia has suspended flights from seven southern African countries including South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana.
The announcement came on Friday due to the emergence of a new variant of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to the Saudi Press Agency, "The Ministry of Interior said it had been decided to suspend flights from and to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini, based on the continuous follow-up of the epidemiological situation and concerns health authorities in the Kingdom have raised about the emergence of the mutated strain of the virus in a number of countries."
The Saudi authorities have also suspended entry to the kingdom for non-nationals who come directly and indirectly from aforesaid countries.
However, travelers who have spent a period of no less than 14 days in another country from which health procedures in the Kingdom allow entry, in accordance with the approved health procedures.
A period of five days quarantine will be applied to all excluded groups coming from these countries, including citizens of the Kingdom, regardless of the status of immunization.
The UAE has also barred arrivals from the seven countries entering.
The World Health Organization (WHO) in a statement said it was designating the variant, named omicron, as being “of concern”, a label only given to four variants to date. (04)

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