Saudi Arabia has suspended all international flights amid fears of a new strain of COVID-19 which have been detected in number of countries, mainly in Europe.
The country's Ministry of Interior said that the temporary measure will last "until medical information about the nature of this virus becomes clear," and that the urgent measures are taken "to protect the public health of citizens and expatriates and ensure their safety," reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Under the new measures, all international flights will be suspended for travelers for one week, which can be extended for another week. However, travel will still be allowed in "exceptional cases" and foreign flights that are currently inside the Kingdom will be allowed to leave. The suspension also applies to land and sea ports.
The Ministry added that those who have returned from one of the European countries or any country where the new strain has appeared after 08/12/2020, as determined by the Ministry of Health must adhere to a two-week home isolation and take a COVID-19 test every five days.
Furthermore, "anyone who has returned from or passed through a European country, or any country where the new strain has appeared, during the past three months, must take a COVID-19 test," it said.
The Ministry added that the movement of goods, commodities and supply chains from countries where the new strain of COVID-19 has not appeared are excluded from the above-mentioned measures.