Saudi Arabia resumes international flights, reopens land and sea borders: New Covid variant

Saudi Arabia resumes international flights, reopens land and sea borders: New Covid variant

Saudi Arabia has resumed international flights and reopened its land and sea borders, SPA reported late Saturday citing an official source at the interior ministry.

The Kingdom reimposed a temporary travel ban on December 20 following the emergence of a mutated variant of COVID-19 in a number of European countries.

The move, which is effective from 11 a.m. on Sunday, January 3, comes amid some restrictions which include the following:

1* Non-Saudis arriving from the UK, South Africa, and other countries where a new variant of the virus has been detected must stay at least 14 days out of these countries before entering Saudi Arabia.

2* Citizens, who are allowed to enter into the Kingdom for humanitarian and urgent cases coming from countries where the new coronavirus variant has been reported, shall be quarantined in their homes under observance for 14 days, with two PCR examinations of the first shall be carried out after arrival within no more than 48 hours and the second before ending the quarantine on the 13th day.

3* Travelers coming from countries where the variant has been reported, they must quarantine at home under supervision for 7 days and take a PCR test on the sixth day from arrival.

4* Travelers coming from countries where the variant has not been detected, they must self-isolate at home for 7 days or self-isolate at home for 3 days and take a PCR test.

Cases of the new variant, which was first detected in the UK, have been reported in European countries including France, Sweden and Spain. It has also been detected in South Africa, Jordan, Canada and Japan.

Saudi Arabia has started rolling out vaccines against COVID-19, starting with those considered high risk.

The Kingdom has also seen a steady decline in the number of new cases and deaths from the pandemic.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Health recorded only 101 new cases, the lowest number in nine months, with two regions reporting zero cases.

A total of 362,488 people have contracted the disease in the Kingdom since Covid-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

Of the total number of cases, 2,772 remain active and 401 in critical condition.

The total number of deaths as of January 1 is 6,230.

Source: SG

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