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UAE Imposes Travel restrictions due to Covid surge

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00


Travel Ban

UAE Imposes travel restrictions due to Covid surge

Due to rising concerns about the spread of new COVID-19 variants, the UAE suspended inbound flights from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Eswatini on Friday.

The travel ban will come to force from Monday, November 29, 2021 and stay in effect until further notice.

The General Civil Aviation Authority, the Supreme Council for National Security and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority announced the move.

Following the announcement from the COVID-19 Command and Control Centre (CCC), Dubai's premier airlines ‘Emirates’ has halted inbound passenger flights from seven South African countries. Outbound flights from Dubai to these countries, on the other hand, will be unaffected. Passengers flying to these countries can continue to do so as planned.

According to the airline's website, travellers originating from or transiting through the countries listed below will not be accepted for travel into Dubai beginning Monday, November 29, 2021.

"Customers who are affected do not need to call us right away to rebook. Customers can simply keep their Emirates tickets and, when flights resume, contact their travel agent or booking office to make new travel arrangements", as mentioned in a statement issued by the airlines.

These restrictions come to play after the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified a new COVID-19 variant discovered in South Africa. The high number of mutations that this variant is known for, has raised health safety concerns since it is the fifth variant to be classified by the WHO.

The Greek character ‘Omicron’ has been assigned to the ‘B.1.1.529’ variant as per the statement issued by the WHO.

The ‘B.1.1.529’ variant has about 100 specimens confirmed by South Africa. The variant has also been found in Hong Kong after a South African traveller visited the country.