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Iran renews ban on UK flights until late February

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran says a pandemic-related ban on flights to and from UK will persist until January 18.

Iranian aviation officials says a ban enacted last month on flights to and from the United Kingdom will persist until January 18 as authorities seek to prevent any spread of a new variant of the coronavirus.

Head of Iran’s civil aviation organization (CAO) Toraj Dehghani said on Sunday that Iran’s flag carrier IranAir will continue to avoid flying to the UK while any arrival from the country in Iran’s International Imam Khomeini Airport will be rejected.

“We will continue to reject passengers from the UK and there is no option for a flight from Iran to the UK,” said Dehghani.

In an order issued on December 21, the CAO called on all domestic airlines and carriers with offices in Tehran to refrain from selling tickets for flights between Tehran and London.

The ban came in response to a request by Iran’s health ministry to restrict travel between Iran and the UK after reports showed that a new variant of the coronaviurs detected in the island country could be very infectious.

Iran has been one of the worst-hit countries in the Middle East by the virus with nearly 1.375 million infections and over 57,000 deaths reported since the disease erupted in the country in February last year.

Many countries around the world have imposed similar bans on UK flights as they struggle to limit the spread of the new coronavirus variant.

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