Saudi Arabia has suspended flights to three countries, including the UAE, to protect against a coronavirus variant, the interior ministry announced Saturday.
The move comes seven weeks after the Kingdom permitted fully immunized citizens to travel abroad, after a ban on foreign trips that lasted more than a year.
Flights to and from the UAE, alongside those to Ethiopia and Vietnam, will be suspended from Sunday, an interior ministry official said, according to state news agency SPA.
Saudi citizens and residents returning from these countries will be required to quarantine for 14 days, it added.
Citizens would be banned "from travelling directly or indirectly, without obtaining prior permission from... authorities".
The decision was taken due to "the spread of a new mutated strain of the (Covid-19) virus."
According to AFP, the variant, first detected in India and now present in at least 85 countries, is the most contagious of any Covid-19 variant yet identified.
The UAE announced last week it had recorded cases of the Delta variant and it has suspended flights to and from India.