Saudi Arabia halts flights from total of 14 African nations due to omicron variant

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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday it was temporarily suspending flights to and from seven African countries due to the outbreak of the newly discovered coronavirus strain, omicron. 

The countries are Malawi, Zambia, Madagascar, Angola, Seychelles, Mauritius and Comoros, an official source from the Ministry of Interior told Saudi state news agency SPA.

The Kingdom on Friday announced the suspension of flights to and from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Eswatini due to concerns over the variant. This brings the total number of banned African countries to 14. 

Expats will be denied entry if they have been in any of the countries listed within the last 14 days before arrival in the Kingdom. 

Nationals and expats who are allowed entry will be required to quarantine for five days, including those who have been vaccinated. 

The Ministry of Interior called on those who entered Saudi Arabia after traveling to the list of banned countries after Nov. 1, to take a PCR test.

As of Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry said that no omicron cases had been detected in the country so far.

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