Iran Extends Ban on British Flights over Virus Strain
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran announced that it has extended a ban on flights from and to Britain till March 10 over fear from the new coronavirus variant spreading in UK.
Spokesman of Iran’s civil aviation authority Mohammad Hassan Zibakhsh made the remarks on Wednesday, adding that the ban might be renewed for a fourth time in early March if the number of infections related to the mutated form of the virus surge in Iran.
“Given that we face the onset of the peak of the British coronavirus (infections), it would be highly possible that the travel ban to the UK will be extended again on March 10,” he said.
The ban on UK flights was first enacted in late December when reports showed that a more infectious variant of the coronavirus had been detected in the island nation.
Iranian authorities say passengers arriving in Iran from the UK via other countries are deported.
However, that comes as Iranian health minister warned earlier this week a fourth wave of the disease involving the new variant of the virus would swiftly spread across Iran if current restrictions on gatherings and movement are eased in the run up to the Persian New Year on March 21.
Health authorities in the Southwestern province of Khuzestan confirmed on Wednesday that the UK vairus variant had started circulating in three cities of Shadegan, Abadan and Khorramshahr.
Iran has been grappling with one of the largest outbreaks of the coronavirus in the Middle East with a total of 1,542,076 infections and 59,184 deaths reported until noon local time on Wednesday.