09:06 GMT28 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Saudi Arabia is set to scrap an entry ban related to the new mutated strain of SARS-CoV-2 on Sunday, state media reported, citing an interior ministry source.

    On December 21, Riyadh announced a halt to international flights and the closure of its sea and land borders due to a new coronavirus mutation detected in a number of countries. On Monday, the kingdom extended the measures for another week.

    According to the SPA news agency, the country will resume international flights and reopen borders from 11:00 a.m. (8:00 GMT) on Sunday.

    Non-citizens coming from the UK, South Africa and other countries that have been infected with the new variant of the novel coronavirus will be required to spend no less than 14 days outside the affected countries before entering the kingdom, the agency said. Such travelers will also need to provide negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for the coronavirus.

    Travelers from other countries will have to spend three to seven days in self-isolation and also provide PCR test results.

    A new strain of SARS-CoV-2, which could be up to 70 percent more transmissible, was discovered in southeast England in mid-December, 2020. Despite many countries having suspended air service with the UK, the new strain has spread across Europe and into the US and other countries.

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    coronavirus, COVID-19, Saudi Arabia
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