Flight ban: Saudi, Oman, Kuwait halt travel due to new COVID-19 strain

The new strain of COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on flight schedules around the world. Many countries have placed air travel restrictions with the United Kingdom, South Africa, Denmark and the Netherlands after the mutated variant was detected in these countries. 

The Persian Gulf is now feeling the heat. As a precautionary measure, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait have also suspended certain flight operations. 

Read on to know how this will affect Indians:

Saudi Arabia: No cross-border travel

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has decided to ban all international passenger flights temporarily for a week, starting December 21, 2020. The ban may extend another week, depending on how the situation develops. Foreign travel will only be allowed in exceptional cases.

The country has also closed off land and sea ports for the same duration. Anyone—be it citizen or tourist—who has arrived from a European country where COVID-19 was present in the last three months has to get tested for the new coronavirus and stay in home isolation. Testing must be repeated every five days.

Oman, Kuwait: flights suspended

All Air India flights to and from Oman have been suspended after the Sultanate decided to shut travel outlets from 0100 hrs of December 22. The suspension will last one week starting from December 21.

Air India Express flights with Kuwait have also been suspended as Kuwait has halted all commercial flight operations to and from its airspace, effective December 21. This ban, too, will last for one week.

Free rescheduling offer

Air India will allow passengers with affected travel bookings to avail a free rescheduling option. “All Penalties for one-time rescheduling, cancellation, rerouting will be waived for bookings between 22nd & 31st Dec ’20,” said the airline.

See the official tweet:

We advise all passengers who have made flight bookings for these airlines to modify their travel plans accordingly. Stay safe!

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