Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman to close borders over new COVID-19 strain

  • 2 months   ago
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman to close borders over new COVID-19 strain

Saudi moves don’t apply to goods movement from countries where new strain hasn’t appeared

Three Gulf states - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman - are closing their land and sea borders and suspending commercial flights over fears about a new strain of COVID-19.

Saudi Arabia shut its land and sea borders on Sunday and suspended international commercial flights for a renewable week although foreign flights already in the country can leave, the Interior Ministry said.

The measures do not apply to movement of goods from countries where the new COVID-19 strain has not appeared, said a ministry statement carried on state news agency SPA. “These procedures will be reviewed in light of the developments related to the pandemic, and what is received from the Ministry of Health,” a source said in a statement.


Neighbouring Kuwait will suspend all commercial flights and close its land and sea borders from 11pm on Monday until January 1, the government communications office said. Cargo operations will continue, it added.

The Ministry of Interior announced that only Saudi nationals will be able to leave Kuwait via the border crossing. 



In Oman, land, air and sea borders will be shut for one week starting Tuesday, state television reported. The decision was taken by the Supreme Committee tasked with tackling COVID-19, which decided to temporarily ban entry and exit from the country through its land, sea and air borders for one week.

The decision was made at an emergency meeting presided over by Hamoud Bin Faisal Al Busaidi, Minister of Interior and Chairman of the committee, in efforts to stem the spread of the mutated virus and protect the public.

Several countries have cut travel ties with Britain after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a highly infectious new strain of the virus was a danger to the country.