The 20 countries are the UK, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Spain, Brazil, the US, India, Australia, Japan, South Africa and Zambia, according to a statement issued on Wednesday by the media office of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
The ban was adopted at a meeting headed by al-Kadhimi with the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety to review the measures taken to contain the spread of the virus, Xinhua news agency reported.
Meanwhile, the entry of travellers from these countries to Iraq was also banned, except for Iraqi citizens who must be quarantined for 14 days until tests prove they are not infected with the new strain of virus which is characterised by the rapid transmission of infection, the statement said.
However, diplomats, official government delegations, workers in embassies, international organisations, and experts working in service projects are excluded from the entry ban, provided that they bring a PCR test conducted within 72 hours before they enter Iraq, according to the statement.
The Committee also tightened punitive measures for stores, restaurants, malls, clubs, cafes, and sports halls by imposing a fine of an equivalent of $3,400 or closing them for 90 days if they violate the health-protective measures.