The Strategist

Saudi Arabia closes borders due to new COVID-19 strain

12/21/2020 - 05:56

Saudi Arabia has closed its borders for a week, the country's interior ministry said. A statement from the ministry was published by SPA. It indicates that the decision to close the borders was made on the basis of the Ministry of Health’s data on the spread of a new strain of coronavirus.

The authorities have halted international air links and closed land borders and seaports for a week. Flights that have arrived in the kingdom will be able to leave the country. Those returning to the country will have to go into quarantine for a fortnight and be screened for the coronavirus. All those arriving in the country in the past three months have been required to take antibody tests. 

A new type of coronavirus was identified last week in the UK. It could be as much as 70% more contagious than the previous one, according to prime minister Boris Johnson. Cases of the new coronavirus have also been identified in other countries. 

In response, more than 20 countries have imposed restrictions on flights to the UK, as well as to those countries where the new mutation has been detected. 

"The increase in cases precisely because of the new variant first came to light in late November when Public Health England investigated why infection rates in the county of Kent were not declining despite a nationwide lockdown," a statement from the UK’s authorities reads. The service reckons there is no reason to believe that a vaccine will not help against this coronavirus.


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