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The emergence of new strains of the coronavirus has led to many countries enforcing tighter regulations, again.
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia suspended entry to travellers from 20 countries. The list includes Argentina, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Portugal, United Kingdom, Turkey, Germany, United States of America, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Ireland, South Africa, Sweden, France, Egypt, Lebanon, India, Japan and Switzerland.
The ban is effective from February 3, and exempts diplomats, Saudi citizens, medical practitioners and their families.
The suspended entry is also effective for travellers coming from countries other than the ones listed here, in case they have passed through any country from the list. In such a scenario, the travellers have to seek permission from Saudi Arabia for entry, 14 days in advance.
New variants of the virus were earlier found in passengers from the UK, but now other strains are emerging as the virus mutates. Similar mutations have been found in South Africa and Brazil.
Saudi Arabia had already launched its vaccination drive in December. The kingdom is now taking all possible measures to avoid further spread of the virus due to the new strain.
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