By Samuel Bankole
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will from Thursday August 5, lift a ban on transit flights including from Nigeria, India, Pakistan and eight other countries, according to a notice on the Emirate Airline website on Tuesday.
“The UAE authorities have announced that effective 5 August 2021, eligible travellers from the countries below will be allowed to travel to/through the UAE.”
The countries are India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Uganda, Vietnam, South Africa, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal, acoding to the airline.
The airline said it will “publish details of the latest protocols and requirements on our travel requirements page, as soon as these are available.”
However, in a statement posted on its website, the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) and General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said that “entry to the UAE will be allowed for some categories of passengers from countries, from where inbound flights to the Emirates have been banned.”
The passengers travelling from the listed countries where flights had been banned would be able to transit through its airports from Aug. 5 as long as they present a negative PCR coronavirus test taken 72 hours prior to departure.
According to the NCEMA, the exemption would be applicable to certain categories of passenger’s from the six countries from August 5, 2021.
The statement listed six countries, which include Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Uganda.
The agency said the exemption will also require that all the travelers from the listed countries submit a request on the website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship to obtain the necessary approvals, in addition to vaccination certificates certified by the concerned authorities in the country.
“These categories include those with valid residency visas who received the two doses of vaccine in the UAE, and that 14 days passed since receiving the second dose as well as having vaccination certificates approved by official authorities in the country.
“Medical personnel working in the country will be also exempted, including doctors, nurses, technicians whether vaccinated or not vaccinated.
“Those working in the educational sector who teach in universities, colleges, schools and institutes are exempted, irrespective of their vaccination status.
“Students studying in the country, people who deserve humanitarian consideration with valid residency visa, workers in federal and local government authorities, and cases of those completing treatment in the country, whether they are vaccinated or not, will also be exempted.
The Gulf state, a major international travel hub, had banned passengers from many South Asian and African states travelling through its airports this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.