International travel will initially be allowed to 56 countries categorised into two groups
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities have said that citizens and residents will be allowed to travel to countries deemed low-risk for contracting the coronavirus from Tuesday.
Prospective travellers must test negative for Covid-19 and must quarantine on their return to the UAE for up to 14 days, Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, told reporters on Saturday.
Airport authorities will check travellers for symptoms. Those with a fever or showing respiratory problems will be isolated and barred from travel, he said.
Travel to medium-risk countries would be allowed on a case-by-case basis, for people seeking health treatment, visiting immediate family or those on military, diplomatic or official business.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the General Civil Aviation Authority, international travel will initially be allowed to 56 countries categorised into two groups, “A” and “B”, based on the risk of infection.
“Group A includes countries with a low risk of infection and with no restriction for travel, while group B includes jurisdictions with a medium risk of infection where travel is allowed only for certain categories of individuals. No travel is allowed to countries outside of the approved list, unless otherwise approved by the relevant authorities. The list will be revised on a weekly basis,” it added.
Australia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, South Korea, Austria, Fiji, Luxembourg, Seychelles, Bahamas, Finland, Malaysia, Slovakia, Bahrain, Georgia, Maldives, Sweden, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hong Kong, Malta, Switzerland, Brunei, Hungary, Mauritius, Taiwan, Bulgaria, Iceland, Montenegro, Thailand, China, Ireland, New Zealand, Tunisia, Costa Rica, Japan, Norway, Croatia, Jordan, Singapore, Cyprus, Latvia and Romania.
Belgium, France, Netherlands, Slovenia, Canada, Germany, Oman, Tanzania, Denmark, Kuwait, Poland, Estonia, Morocco and Portugal.
Both foreign nationals and UAE citizens will be allowed to travel to countries from group A without any restrictions. However, travel to countries in group B will be limited to the following categories:
- UAE nationals travelling for medical treatment at the expense of the UAE government, after obtaining permission from the relevant authority of the destination country.
- Travellers departing for medical treatment at their own expense, after providing a certified medical certificate.
- Members of diplomatic missions, if urgently required.
- Travellers departing for an emergency, including deaths and births, if urgently required.
- Travellers attending conferences, courses, short training or humanitarian missions if urgently required and after providing appropriate justification.
- Military personnel, if urgently required.
Travel for business, tourism and study is not allowed to countries in group B. Individuals above 70 and those who suffer from chronic diseases are not allowed to travel regardless of the destination, the statement added.
The statement said that all travellers must verify entry requirements applicable in their destination country. Foreign nationals must obtain an exit permit, while UAE nationals must register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation through the Twajudi portal before travelling.
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“All individuals must complete a health declaration form, acknowledge that they will be subject to quarantine upon return and that they will not travel to a country other than the one declared in the form.”
Requirements on arrival
All travellers must download and activate a government application called “Al Hosn” prior to arriving in the UAE. Individuals who have a fever, problems with breathing or Covid-19 symptoms, as well as those who were in contact with people infected with Covid -19, will be subject to a mandatory Covid-19 test upon arrival. Additionally, travellers must complete an arrival card which will be collected by immigration officials on entry, it added.
The statement said that individuals entering the United Arab Emirates from countries in group A will have to self-quarantine at home for up to seven days, and will have to conduct a Covid-19 test within 48 hours from arriving to the UAE.
It said that those travelling from countries in group B will also be subject to testing and a 14-day quarantine at home. If home quarantine is not possible, individuals will be required to quarantine at a government-approved hotel at their own expense.
(With additional input from Reuters)