Coronavirus: Dubai to allow residents to travel abroad, welcome overseas visitors

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Dubai will allow residents to travel overseas from Tuesday and welcome back tourists from next month.

Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management announced a raft of measures on Sunday night to allow citizens and expats to travel abroad and for tourists to visit the emirate.

It also said more Dubai residents, who were stuck overseas when the borders closed on March 19, would begin to return home from Monday.

Officials outlined plans to allow citizens and residents to travel to any foreign destination from Tuesday, June 23, subject to the country they are travelling to agreeing to receive them.

The committee also revealed that Dubai is to begin to welcome back visitors and tourists from July 7.

Return of UAE residents

Residents holding Dubai-issued visas are permitted to return to the emirate from Monday by booking flights on any airline, on the condition that they obtain an approval co-ordinated between the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA Dubai) and the airline in question.

They must fill a ‘Health Declaration Form’ before embarking on their journey to confirm they do not have Covid-19 symptoms.

The airline has the right to refuse boarding if passengers display any symptoms of the virus.

On arrival at Dubai airports, all residents will have to undergo a Covid-19 screening test.

Residents should register their complete details in the Covid-19 DXB smart app available online on arrival and before leaving the terminal.

Residents entering Dubai should not leave their house until they receive their test result. If they test positive, they will have to isolate themselves for 14 days.

“Residents sharing homes or living in high-density housing facilities will be isolated at an institutional facility if they test positive,” said the committee.

“The resident’s employer should make arrangements for the isolation facility in accordance with guidelines approved by the Covid-19 Command and Control Centre or bear the costs of a paid isolation facility provided by the government.”

Citizens and residents travelling abroad

There will be no restrictions on the overseas destinations that citizens and residents can travel to from Tuesday. However, they must comply with guidelines and protocols followed in the countries they are travelling to.

They are also required to fill in a ‘Health Declaration Form’ before flying to confirm they do not have any symptoms. Again, the airline has the right to refuse boarding if they display any symptoms.

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International tourists

International tourists flying to Dubai must ensure they meet all requirements for entry to the UAE.

They must download the Covid-19 DXB app and register their details and fill in the Health Declaration Form. They must have valid health insurance.

Tourist must undergo a PCR Covid-19 test with a maximum validity of four days ahead of departure.

They will be required to show proof of not being infected with the virus on arrival at Dubai airports.

If they cannot provide proof, they will undergo a PCR test at the airport.

“All arrivals will be subject to thermal screenings. If a traveller is suspected to have Covid-19 symptoms, Dubai airports have the right to re-test to ensure the tourist is free of the virus,” the committee stated.

How passengers can travel safely

  • All passengers must make themselves aware of the protocols and conditions specified by the Dubai government and authorities in destination countries before travelling and ensure they comply with them.
  • Passengers must disclose any health symptoms before travelling by filling out the ‘Health Declaration Form’ provided by the airline company.
  • UAE nationals must notify UAE embassies in the countries they are visiting if they test positive for Covid-19.
  • Tourists must ensure they have international health insurance before travelling.
  • All tourists must show that they have tested negative in a PCR test conducted four days (96 hours) before the departure date. If they cannot provide test results, they will be tested at Dubai airports.
  • Those who test positive for Covid-19 should isolate themselves for 14 days at their home or in an institutional facility provided by the government at their own expense.
  • Travellers must strictly follow physical distancing guidelines in accordance with measures followed at Dubai airports and use face masks at all times.
  • All passengers should strictly observe precautionary measures and monitor themselves for Covid-19 symptoms.

The next stage of Covid-19 recovery

The UAE has been stepping up efforts to help the country emerge from the Covid-19 crisis in recent weeks.

Safety measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus are being gradually lifted, with businesses slowly welcoming workers back to offices and malls, restaurants and beaches resuming operations.

At the end of last month, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, stressed the importance of the emirate getting back to business while still remaining mindful of the need to safeguard public health.

“We have entered a new stage, the stage for gradual return to economic life,” he said on Twitter.

“Every person is responsible. All institutions and sectors are involved in protecting their staff. Health will remain a priority and a responsibility. Returning the wheel of the economy is strategic and necessary.”

As of Sunday, the UAE had recorded 44,925 coronavirus cases since the outbreak first struck the country, while 32,415 people had recovered.

In recent days, the number of recoveries recorded has outstripped new cases, offering a boost to the country’s fight against the virus.

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