Coronavirus: UAE extends entry suspension for visa holders abroad for two more weeks
The United Arab Emirates extended the suspension of entry of all valid visa holders who are outside the country for two additional weeks starting Thursday April 2, as part of the country’s efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus, state news agency WAM reported.
The suspension decision is subject to renewal after the end of the two weeks as per the medical and epidemiological developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation renewed its invitation to all those who have valid residency residing outside the country to register for the new service "My presence for residents" on the Ministry's website, as this service aims to facilitate their safe return to the UAE in emergency cases.
The UAE has reported 814 confirmed coronavirus cases and eight deaths as of Thursday, according to the ministry of health.
The country had suspended issuing all entry visas starting from March 17, and called on its citizens abroad to return to their home country due to travel difficulties in light of the spread of the coronavirus and the travel restrictions the government put in place to contain the outbreak.
It also suspended on March 23 all passenger and transit flights to and from the country for two weeks.
However, the UAE brought 1,743 of its citizens and their companions home from abroad in 39 evacuation trips, and there are another 25 repatriation trips planned over the next few days.
Precautionary measures in the country
The UAE launched on Thursday March 26 a three-day nationwide disinfection campaign which was later extended till April 5, during which the authorities urged people to stay home from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. everyday.
All malls, shopping centers, commercial centers, and open markets except for fish, vegetable, and meat markets will be closed for two weeks from March 23.
Restaurants will also only be limited to delivery for the two-week period.
The UAE ordered on March 16 all hotels to close their pubs, bars, and lounges. Gyms, electronic gaming centers, and spring camps will also be closed until the end of the month.
Public beaches, swimming pools, cinemas, theme parks, and tourist attractions are also closed until the end of March.