Coronavirus: UAE’s decision to allow travel does not apply to everyone, says official

Passengers keep distance in a line at Dubai International Airport amid the outbreak of the coronavirus in Dubai, UAE, April 27, 2020. (Reuters)

The UAE’s recent decision allow its citizens and residents to travel abroad to certain countries designated as “low risk” with regards to the coronavirus starting from Tuesday “does not apply to everyone,” a UAE official said on Monday.

The country’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) spokesman Saif al-Dhaheri said that “the recent decision to allow travel applies to certain groups of citizens and residents and does not apply to everyone,” according to WAM.

The UAE had previously announced mid-June that it will start allowing people to travel to some countries. Previously, the country had suspended on March 23 travel in and out of it.

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He reiterated that countries have been divided into categories: low, moderate and high risk based on the health conditions in them.

Read more: Categories, restrictions: All the facts about UAE allowing travel amid coronavirus

“As for the procedures that must be followed by those wishing to travel to find out whether they are permitted to do so or not, al-Dhaheri said they must communicate, coordinate and follow-up with airline companies in the country to know the latest destinations and follow the official updates,” WAM reported.

Read more: Coronavirus: Emirates allows booking flights from Dubai to 12 Arab states from July 1

The spokesman stressed that the UAE authorities are constantly monitoring the health conditions around the world and highlighted that the airspace of the majority of countries remains closed.

As for the possibility of traveling from the UAE back to the home country, if it was not amongst those designated as “high risk,” al-Dhaheri said that to complete the travel procedures, the individual must submit a request to the authorities or through the website (smartservices.ica.gov.ae).

After that, the individual will be notified of whether or not his/her application for travel was approved. Approval depends on many conditions, including: the danger rating of the country of destination, the reason for travel (for example: to get urgent medical treatment or to visit first-degree relatives or for military or diplomatic or official missions) and the health guidelines and precautions in the country of destination.

NCEMA tweeted on Monday: “We have seen a number of questions and inquiries regarding the decision to allow the travel of citizens and residents abroad. We stress the importance of obtaining information from reliable, official sources, and to avoid spreading hearsay and unverified information.”

“The travel protocols have taken into consideration the protection of all individuals, with measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. It is crucial that everyone adheres to the protocols so that we can protect the wider community and continue our recovery towards normality,” the NCEMA added.

Daily cases

The UAE reported on Monday 378 new cases of coronavirus infection, 631 new recoveries and one death, according to Dr. Amna al-Shamsi, the official spokesperson for the UAE Government.

The country’s COVID-19 tally is now at 45,303 confirmed cases, 33,046 recovered patients, and the death toll stands at 303 fatalities.

Al-Shamsi said: “The UAE presented a model that balanced precautionary measures and the human and psychological needs of the individual and society as a whole,” according to state news agency WAM.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 23 June 2020 KSA 07:53 - GMT 04:53
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