TASHKENT, Dec 22 (Reuters) – Uzbekistan has closed its borders to residents of eight countries, including Britain, and to people who have recently visited them amid concerns about a new coronavirus strain and high numbers of new COVID-19 infections in those countries.

The entry ban will be in effect until Jan. 10 and will affect Italy, Germany, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Australia, and South Africa, the Central Asian nation’s government said in a statement.

Uzbek citizens returning from those countries will be quarantined for 14 days.

The nation of 33 million has also made express tests for COVID-19 antibodies mandatory for everyone arriving in the country starting from Dec. 25. (Reporting by Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov, writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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