The United Arab Emirates is considered one of the best tourism destinations in the world but its recent travel ban on passengers from certain countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic has been largely condemned in many quarters. However, many of such travellers on transit flights from Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Uganda will now be able to enter UAE, although, direct flights from these countries are still banned until further notice.
This recent development was made public in a statement by the National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority in a series of tweets. According to the NECMA, passengers would be able to transit through its airports as long as they present negative PCR tests taken 72 hours before takeoff.
This means transit flights from the countries from which transit passengers had been suspended will resume on the condition that the passenger’s last destination is accepted with a laboratory check-up within 72 hours of departure and the state’s airports will allocate special lounges for transit passengers.
The exclusion of new categories of passengers from some of the banned countries, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria, and Uganda, as of August 5. These categories include those with valid residency permits who have received full vaccination doses in the UAE and 14 days have passed since receiving the second dose and have their vaccination certificates approved by the official authorities in the country.
Furthermore, references were made to other categories of travellers – medical personnel working in the country will be excluded. These include doctors, nurses, technicians from restaurants and non-restaurants, and those working in the educational sector in the country who teach in universities, colleges, schools, and institutes; from the vaccinated and non-vaccinated categories.
Students studying in the country, humanitarian cases who hold valid residency and workers in federal and local government agencies, and cases of completing treatment in the country, whether they are vaccinated or not, will also be excluded.
According to the press release, all these categories will be required to submit a request on the website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship in order to obtain the necessary approvals in addition to the certificates of vaccination certified by the relevant authorities in the country for the categories from which these certificates are required.
The excluded groups will be obligated to submit a prior PCR test within (48) hours from the date of departure, provided that the tests are from accredited laboratories carrying a QR Code, and conduct a quick laboratory test before boarding the plane.