Saudi Arabia extends no-fly ban for another week because of the new coronavirus strain

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Oman and Kuwait plan to lift the ban on December 29 and January 1, respectively. (Representative)

Riyadh:

Saudi Arabia has extended the suspension of commercial passenger flights by at least a week and possibly two weeks amid concerns about a new variant of the coronavirus.

However, Saudi Arabia will allow flights in “exceptional cases,” an interior ministry official said on Sunday, according to the Saudi official press agency (SPA).

Foreigners are allowed to leave the kingdom and freight movements are allowed, he added.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman suspended passenger flights and banned entry and exit across their land and sea borders last week after a new strain of the novel coronavirus emerged in the UK.

Oman and Kuwait plan to lift the ban on December 29 and January 1, respectively.

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“Saudi Arabia has decided to extend the above measures for another week in order to further assess the situation and ensure the safety of citizens and expatriates,” the SPA report said.

Earlier this month, the kingdom launched a Covid-19 vaccination campaign with the Pfizer BioNTech push.

Saudi Arabia has so far recorded more than 362,000 cases, including more than 6,000 deaths – the highest among the Gulf Arab states – but also reported a high rate of recovery.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)

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