DUBAI, 6 July 2021: UAE has banned its citizens from
travelling to 14 countries and territories to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,
including newer variants of the virus, until a least 21 July.
The ban impacts airline travel to India, Pakistan,
Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Namibia, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Africa, and Nigeria. Vietnam is the
only country in Southeast Asia listed.
The UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management
Authority said last Thursday that Emirati citizens are barred from travelling
to any of the listed countries.
Some of the countries on the list have confirmed cases of
the delta variant discovered first in India. The World Health Organization
considers the variant more easily transmissible than the original virus strain,
though there is insufficient evidence that it is more dangerous.
India has struggled to contain the variant. Other countries
on the list, such as Nigeria, are battling different virus strains. Some
countries with confirmed delta cases, including the United Kingdom, and
Thailand are not on the ban list.
The Dubai-based airline Emirates currently has flight bans
in place for South Africa, Uganda and other countries.
The UAE has so far had over 630,000 infections and 1,819
In addition, effective 4 July, UAE airlines Etihad and
Emirates suspended flights to Saudi Arabia until further notice as instructed
by the GACA of Saudi Arabia.
Emirates said it would not accept passengers at the point of
origin who are travelling to Saudi Arabia effective 5 July.
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The airline also confirmed flights from India, Bangladesh,
Pakistan and Sri Lanka are now suspended until 15 July. Passengers who have
connected through India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka in the last 14 days
will not be accepted to travel from any other point to the UAE.
UAE Nationals, holders of UAE Golden Visas and members of
diplomatic missions who comply with updated Covid‑19 protocols are exempt and
may be accepted for travel.