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Islamic Lifestyle

Saudi Arabia, Turkey suspend international flights over new COVID-19 strain

Saudi Arabia and Turkey are suspending some international flights following the discovery of a new COVID-19 strain.

Saudi authorities are closing the Kingdom’s land and sea borders and suspending international flights for a week, state news agency SPA reported on Sunday (Dec 20).

Citing “an official source” at the Ministry of Interior, SPA said the suspension of flights and closure of the borders could be extended for another week.

Travellers who arrive in Saudi Arabia from countries that have seen the new strain will have to self-isolate for two weeks. Visitors to these countries in the past three months would need to get tested for COVID-19, reported SPA.

News about a new strain of the COVID-19 that “can spread more quickly” was confirmed by the UK’s Department of Health on Saturday (Dec 19). The UK government first announced it had identified the new variant on Dec 14.

Following the UK’s announcement, several countries, including Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, started banning travel from the country.

Turkey has also temporarily suspended all flights from the UK, as well as from Denmark, the Netherlands and South Africa, said health minister Dr. Fahrettin Koca on Twitter.

Koronavirüsün mutasyonuyla İngiltere'de bulaş hızının arttığı bildirilmiştir. Cumhurbaşkanımızın talimatı, Ulaştırma ve Altyapı Bakanlığımızın koordinasyonu ile tedbiren; İngiltere, Danimarka, Hollanda ve Güney Afrika'dan ülkemize olan uçuşlarda geçici durdurma kararı alınmıştır.

— Dr. Fahrettin Koca (@drfahrettinkoca) December 20, 2020

Outside of the UK, the new coronavirus strain has been detected in these other countries as well.

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