Saudi Arabia extends entry ban amid coronavirus variant fears: state news agency

FILE PHOTO:  Saudi Arabia reopens domestic flights
FILE PHOTO: Travellers wearing protective face masks walk at Riyadh International Airport, after Saudi Arabia reopened domestic flights, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 31, 2020. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri/File Photo

December 28, 2020

CAIRO – (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry on Monday extended a ban on entry to the kingdom by air, land and sea for another week amid concerns over a fast-spreading variant of the new coronavirus, the state news agency SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia shut its borders on Monday Dec. 21 and suspended international commercial flights on a rolling weekly basis although foreign flights already in the country were allowed to leave.

The ministry said it is evaluating the situation while allowing non-citizens to leave the kingdom and allowing entry for exceptional cases, SPA reported.

The measures do not affect the movement of goods.

(Reporting by Alaa Swilam; Editing by Richard Chang and Hugh Lawson)