Iraq bans travel to, entry from 20 countries over new COVID-19 strain fears

Source: Xinhua| 2021-01-14 04:53:02|Editor: huaxia

BAGHDAD, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Iraq on Wednesday adopted several COVID-19 restrictive measures including a ban on travel to 20 countries where the new strain of coronavirus has spread.

The 20 countries are Britain, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Spain, Brazil, the United States, India, Australia, Japan, South Africa and Zambia, according to a statement by the media office of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

The ban was adopted at a meeting headed by al-Kadhimi with the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety to review the measures taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the entry of travellers from these countries to Iraq was also banned, except for Iraqi citizens who must be quarantined for 14 days until tests prove they are not infected with the new strain of virus which is characterized by the rapid transmission of infection, the statement said.

However, diplomats, official government delegations, workers in embassies, international organizations, and experts working in service projects are excluded from the entry ban, provided that they bring a PCR test conducted within 72 hours before they enter Iraq, according to the statement.

The Committee also tightened punitive measures for stores, restaurants, malls, clubs, cafes, and sports halls by imposing a fine of an equivalent of 3,400 U.S. dollars or closing them for 90 days if they violate the health-protective measures. Enditem