Due to concerns about the spread of the omicron COVID-19 variant, the United Arab Emirates has banned travelers from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Nigeria from entering the country.

From Saturday, December 25, at 7.30 a.m., the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) have announced the suspension of all inbound flights for national and international carriers, as well as transit passengers, from the four countries.

This includes suspending entry for travelers who visited the four countries 14 days prior to arriving in the UAE, while flight operations between the UAE and the four countries will continue.

The UAE nationals, their first degree relatives, diplomatic missions, official delegations between the UAE and these countries, and Golden residence holders are all exempt from the decision, according to the agencies.

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“The excluded categories must have a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of departure and, if possible, a Rapid-PCR test at the airport within six hours of departure, as well as another PCR test at the airport upon arrival in the UAE.”

“All UAE nationals, their first-degree relatives, diplomatic missions, and golden residence holders must undergo a 10-day quarantine and a PCR test on the ninth day after entering the country.”

“Those traveling from the four countries via other countries must stay in those countries for at least 14 days before being allowed to enter the UAE,” the GCAA added.

“UAE citizens are prohibited from traveling to the four African countries except in emergency treatment cases, official delegations, and scholarships,” according to the statement.

It goes on to say that the two governments have imposed new travel restrictions on passengers arriving on direct flights from Uganda and Ghana.

“These include obtaining a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of departure and a Rapid-PCR test at the airport within six hours.”

“Transit passengers flying from Uganda and Ghana to the UAE must have a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours, as well as a Rapid-PCR test at their main point of departure within six hours of travel, as well as another Rapid-PCR test at the transit airport, before being allowed to enter the UAE.”

“The GCAA urged all affected travelers to follow up and communicate with the airlines to amend and schedule their flights and ensure their safe return to their final destinations without delay or other obligations,” it said.

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