Iraq is banning travels to and from eight countries to prevent the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus, a government statement said on Tuesday.
The government is ordering all shopping malls and restaurants to close.
The two-week travel prohibition comes into effect from Dec. 24 with possibility of extension and covers Britain, South Africa, Australia, Denmark, Iran, Japan, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Iraqi citizens in those countries will be allowed to return but they will be subject to a two-week quarantine upon arrival.
All land borders with neighboring nations such as Iran will also be closed to travelers for two weeks.
Iraq has recorded 586,503 cases of COVID-19, including 12,725 deaths, according to the health ministry.