Saudi Arabia suspends international flights over mutant virus


Saudi Arabia halted international flights and closed its borders for one week over fears about the fast-spreading new strain of the coronavirus.

The kingdom may extend the suspension for another week depending on the nature of the virus spread, according to state-run Saudi Press Agency.

The Saudi decision comes after the U.K. warned that a new strain of the coronavirus is “out of control.” That forced France, Germany and others to suspend travel from Britain, while United Arab Emirates-based Air Arabia PJSC said Monday it will halt flights from Morocco to the U.K. until further notice.

Saudi Arabia, which has reported about 361,000 cases and 6,122 deaths, began lifting coronavirus lockdowns from May. Officials had not imposed any new restrictions since then, and the country has so far avoided another wave of infections.