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Saudi Arabia reopens its borders and resumes international flights | News on the coronavirus pandemic

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Riyadh closed its borders on December 21 after the discovery of a new strain of the coronavirus in the United Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has announced it will reopen its borders and resume international flights after a two-week suspension aimed at containing the spread of the new COVID-19 strain.

The kingdom has ordered the lifting of “precautionary measures linked to the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus,” the Interior Ministry said on Sunday in a statement released by the official Saudi press agency.

Kingdom authorities have so far recorded more than 363,000 cases, including at least 6,200 deaths – the highest among the Arab Gulf states. But the country has also reported a high recovery rate.

Riyadh suspended international flights and access through land crossings and ports on December 21.

Other Gulf countries, Oman and Kuwait, which had taken similar measures, have also lifted them in recent days.

But travelers returning from Britain, South Africa or “any country where the new variant of the coronavirus is spread” are subject to more restrictions, the statement added.

Foreigners from these countries must spend 14 days in another country before entering Saudi Arabia and test negative.

Saudi nationals returning from those countries will be able to enter directly, but will then have to spend two weeks in quarantine on arrival and undergo testing.

Last month, Saudi Arabia was one of the first Gulf countries to launch a nationwide vaccination campaign using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.


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