File Photo: Simon Bolivar airport at Caracas, Venezuela. Many airport workers will have been laid off as there are few flights entering or leaving the South American country.

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic–Venezuela president, Nicolás Maduro, on Monday announced a ban on flights to and from the Dominican Republic, alleging that from this country they are “getting people full” of COVID-19, reports Dominican Today.

Maduro’s announcement was immediately put into effect by Venezuela’s Civil Aeronautics, “in compliance with the disposition of the National Executive.”

“As of this moment, only commercial air operations from and to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela with the countries of Turkey, Mexico and Bolivia will remain open,” the agency later posted in a statement on social networks.

Just over a month after the restart of scheduled international flights in Venezuela to a small group of countries that included the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Turkey, Iran, Panama, and Mexico, the Venezuela government announced today that it will again enforce more restrictive measures.

The measure was announced this afternoon by the National Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC).

“We continue working in the fight against COVID-19, taking the necessary preventive measures to counteract the pandemic and complying with the biosafety protocols issued by the Bolivarian Government,” states INAC in a press release.

This happens one day after a harsh exchange between Venezuela and Panama, in which the Central American nation accused Caracas of not acting reciprocally with Copa Airlines, authorizing only one third of the frequencies obtained by Venezuelan airlines. This caused the Panamanian Civil Aviation Authority to decide to cancel all aerial connections between the two countries.

Many international airlines had stopped flying to Venezuela anyway because of security concerns and disputes over money they say the government owes them. But domestic airlines, including Laser Airlines and Avior Airlines, had been offering services to Miami.