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Planes preparing for take off at Riyadh King Khalid Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Riyadh airport is home port for Saudi Arabian Airlines. Image Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia will resume international flights, opening land and sea ports as from 11am on Sunday, amid strict precautions against the new COVID-19 variant, an official source said.

The country had suspended international flights and closed overland and sea ports for a fortnight starting from December 20.

The kingdom stipulated that any foreign passenger, who wished to enter Saudi Arabia from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and any other country determined by the Ministry of Health (in which the new mutated type of COVID-19 has spread) must spend at least 14 days outside the country impacted with the mutated virus before entering the Kingdom, the source added.

These passengers must also undergo a PCR test after the expiration of this period, to prove that they don't have COVID-19.

Citizens and passengers allowed to enter the country on humanitarian grounds, coming from countries with a wide spread outbreak of the new mutated strain of the coronavirus, will be quarantined in their homes under surveillance for 14 days, with two PCR tests - the first after arrival within a maximum of 48 hours, and the second before the end of the quarantine period, on the 13th day.

As for the countries that have recorded cases of the strain, passengers from these nations are to be quarantined in their homes under observation for 7 days, and undergo a PCR test, before the end of the quarantine period, on the sixth day of arrival.

With regard to the rest of the countries, the precautions currently in place will be followed, including home quarantine for seven days, or the home quarantine for three days, and a PCR test.

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