ON WEDNESDAY, 26 January, the UAE announced that it is resuming all inbound flights for national and international carriers and transit passengers from 12 African countries, as state news agency WAM reported.
The General Civil Aviation Authority and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority said the travel ban has been lifted for passengers coming from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
However, the announcement could only be ascertained on the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority Twitter handle.
#الطوارئ_والأزمات والطيران المدني: استئناف دخول القادمين من كينيا وتنزانيا واثيوبيا ونيجيريا وجمهورية الكونغو وجمهورية جنوب افريقيا وبتسوانا وإيسواتيني وليسوتو وموزمبيق وناميبيا وزيمبابوي وتحديث إجراءات الدخول على القادمين من أوغندا وغانا وروندا اعتباراً من 29 يناير الجاري pic.twitter.com/Gky8MOXgGS
— NCEMA UAE (@NCEMAUAE) January 26, 2022
We are yet to confirm from the airlines – if they have received an official notice. Also, no precise entry requirements have been provided for Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Republic of Congo, South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
However, the authorities said they have updated entry measures for travellers from Uganda, Ghana and Rwanda. The decisions come into effect at 2:30 PM Dubai time on Saturday.
All arrivals coming from these countries must
- Present a valid negative COVID‑19 PCR test certificate with a QR code for a test conducted at an approved facility within 48 hours of departure. Validity must be calculated from the time the sample was collected.;
- Take a Rapid COVID-19 Test at the departure airport within 6 hours before departure; and
- Another PCR test upon arrival in the UAE and must remain in self-quarantine until they receive the test result.
PCR Test Exemptions
The following categories of passengers are exempted from PCR Test requirements when travelling from Ghana, Guinea, Rwanda and Uganda:
- UAE nationals are exempt from taking a COVID‑19 PCR test before departing for Dubai. They must be tested on arrival in Dubai, irrespective of whether they are holding a valid negative COVID‑19 RT PCR certificate from the point of origin. This is also applicable for passengers accompanying a 1st degree UAE nationals’ relative or domestic workers escorting a UAE national sponsor during travel.
- Children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability are exempt from taking a COVID‑19 RT PCR test.
The announcement is a welcome development; however, too early to get hopes high as clear guidelines have only been provided for Uganda, Ghana & Rwanda. It is premature to act based on this information as the UAE has been consistent in “not-been-consistent” with travel/COVID-19 policies.
Furthermore, for Nigeria travellers, examining these travel requirements for Uganda, Ghana & Rwanda, they are the exact requirements rejected by the Nigerian government last year. It is not yet clear what policies the UAE government wishes to implement for travellers from Nigeria. Still, it would mostly be counterproductive to suggest the same procedures for travellers from Nigeria.
A list of the UAE approved laboratories can be found via the link here.
–David Osaghae – Destination Consultant, AFARI Travels & Tours
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