Saudi Arabia suspends flights to several countries due to COVID-19 variant

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Saudi Arabia on Sunday suspended flights coming to and from Malawi, Zambia, Madagascar, Angola, Seychelles, Mauritius, and Comoros due to the outbreak of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, citing a source from the Ministry of Interior.

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The Kingdom also suspended entry of non-Saudis who come directly or indirectly from the above countries, except for those who have spent a period of no less than fourteen days in another country whose health procedures comply with Saudi Arabia’s rules regarding entry to the country in accordance with the approved health procedures, SPA reported.

Those from the excluded group of people who are allowed entry to Saudi Arabia will be subject to an institutional quarantine period of five days, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Ministry of Interior stressed that whoever entered Saudi Arabia from those previously announced countries or states, or passed through them after November 1, 2021, is required to have a negative PCR test result taken upon arrival in the Kingdom.

“All procedures and measures are subject to continuous evaluation by the competent health authorities in the Kingdom, according to developments,” SPA reported, adding that Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry warns citizens and residents to avoid traveling to the aforementioned countries until further notice.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia suspended flights to and from seven southern African nations due to concerns related to the spread of the new variant of COVID-19.

According to a statement carried by SPA, the seven countries are South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini.

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