Doha, 21 Dec. 2020
A number of countries have decided to close their borders and suspend commercial flights to check the spread of a new coronavirus strain first discovered in the United Kingdom.
The identification of the highly infectious strain has caused chaos across the world, with many European and other countries shutting off travel ties with the UK and disrupting trade ahead of the Christmas holiday.
Saudi Arabia suspended international commercial flights for a renewable week although foreign flights already in the country can leave, the interior ministry said on Monday. The Gulf state shut its land and sea borders on Sunday.
The measures do not apply to the movement of goods from countries where the new COVID-19 strain has not appeared, said a ministry statement carried on state news agency SPA.
Kuwait will suspend all commercial flights and close its land and sea borders from 11pm local time (20:00 GMT) on Monday until January 1, the government communications office said. Cargo operations will continue, it added.
Kuwait on Sunday recorded a total of 147,979 coronavirus cases, including 921 deaths and 143,926 recoveries.
Oman will shut its land, air and sea borders for a week starting on Tuesday, state television reported. The decision will take effect starting at 1am local time on Tuesday morning (23:00 GMT Monday night).
As of Monday, Oman recorded a total of 127,931 coronavirus cases, including 1,489 deaths and 119,745 recoveries.