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Uzbekistan Suspends Entrance For Travelers From Eight Nations Over New COVID-19 Strain

A traffic policeman checks the ID of a driver at a checkpoint amid the coronavirus pandemic in Tashkent. (file photo)

TASHKENT -- Tashkent has barred travelers from eight nations from entering the country amid reports about a new coronavirus strain and an increase of COVID-19 cases in those countries.

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The government's special commission on anti-coronavirus efforts said on December 22 that citizens of Australia, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the United Kingdom will not be able to enter Central Asia's most populous nation of 32 million until January 10.

Uzbek citizens returning from the named countries will be quarantined for 14 days upon their return.

"These restrictions will be gradually lifted as the epidemiological situation in these countries stabilizes," a commission statement said, adding that starting December 25 express tests for COVID-19 antibodies will be mandatory for everyone arriving to Uzbekistan.

As of December 22, the number of registered coronavirus cases in Uzbekistan was 76,180, including 612 deaths.