The United Arab Emirates announced on Monday that foreign nationals with residence visas stranded abroad due to the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic will be able to return as of June 1.
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship said the decision was taken given authorities desire to reunite families that have been seperated due to lockdown procedures, according to a statement carried by the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
"The move is aimed at streamlining their safe return to the UAE," the statement read, WAM reported.
The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship asked holders of valid residency permit outside the country and wishing to return back to the UAE to register for the “Resident Entry Permit” service on the Authority’s website, smartservices.ica.gov.ae, which aims to facilitate their safe return to the UAE.
The announcement comes following the expansion of the night curfew by two hours starting Wednesday, May 20, until further notice. The new timing for the national disinfection drive will now last from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.
Also the UAE confirmed on Monday four new deaths due to coronavirus while detecting 832 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to health officials, adding that the total number of cases of infections now stands at 24,190.
Over 6,500 foreign nationals have already returned to the UAE since the country allowed residents to return following a period of shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a UAE government spokesperson.
Flights out of the UAE were suspended on March 23 as officials moved to contain the spread of the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19. Emirates and Etihad have both been involved in government repatriations to bring citizens home. Flights that allow UAE residents have only recently been announced, with passengers able to fly once government approval has been granted.