Flights to and from Ethiopia and Vietnam have also been banned without prior permission from the authorities.
Saudi Arabia has announced that it is suspending flights to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Ethiopia and Vietnam to protect against a variant of the coronavirus.
The move announced on Saturday came seven weeks after the kingdom allowed fully immune citizens to travel abroad following an overseas travel ban that lasted more than a year.
Flights to the three countries will be halted from 11 p.m. Sunday, the official SPA news agency said, citing an Interior Ministry official. Saudi citizens and residents returning from these countries will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days, he added.
Citizens would be banned “from traveling directly or indirectly without obtaining prior authorization from … authorities”.
The decision was made due to “the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the spread of a new mutated strain of the virus,” he added, without explicitly mentioning the increasingly emerging Delta variant. worldwide.
First detected in India and now present in at least 85 countries, Delta is the most contagious variant of the coronavirus yet identified.
The United Arab Emirates – a popular leisure destination for many Saudis, especially Dubai – announced last week that it had recorded cases of the Delta variant and had suspended flights to and from the United Arab Emirates. ‘India.
Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, has placed major limits on the annual Hajj pilgrimage. It has officially recorded more than 490,000 cases of coronavirus, including nearly 7,850 deaths.