RIYADH, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia on Sunday suspended all international flights for one week due to the outbreak of a new strain of the coronavirus, the official SPA news agency reported.

SPA, citing an Interior Ministry source, said the suspension may be renewed for another week.

Last week, the United Kingdom announced a fast-spreading new strain of the coronavirus, pushing several European countries to suspend travels to and from the UK.

The World Health Organization requested the countries to redouble its health measures in the wake of the new fast-spreading strain.

The Saudi source said the measure was part of the kingdom’s precautionary measures until information about the nature of the new strain becomes clearer.

The Saudi authorities also instructed anyone who has returned from or passed through a European country over the past three months to get tested for COVID-19 immediately.

The source said the travel suspension, however, will not affect the country’s cargo flights and supply chains from the countries that didn’t register any cases of the new virus variant.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

Copyright 2021 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.