COVID-19: Restricted entry to UAE for passengers from these countries, say airlines

Emirates and flydubai list countries from where passengers cannot fly into Dubai

Dubai: Though Dubai is open to all visitors, subject to meeting entry requirements, airlines have clarified that passengers from a few countries currently cannot directly fly into the country, even if they are resident visa holders.

Both Emirates and flydubai have updated the travel requirements to Dubai and have clarified that passengers who have been in or transited through South Africa or Nigeria in the last 14 days before travelling to Dubai will not be able to enter Dubai.

Countries around the world have begun banning flights and travellers from Britain as London said the spread of a more-infectious new coronavirus strain was “out of control”.

Here are the countries that have announced travel bans so far.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it was halting all flights and suspending entry through its land and sea ports for at least a week, with the option to extend for a further week.

Passengers who arrived in Saudi Arabia from Europe — or any country where the new strain was detected — starting December 8 will be required to self-isolate for two weeks, and undergo testing.


Oman will close its land, air and sea borders on Tuesday at 1am for one week, state television reported on Monday.

The decision follows measures imposed by various countries following the outbreak of a new strain of COVID-19, Oman TV said.


As concern mounted over a new strain of the novel coronavirus in the United Kingdom, India on Monday announced it was suspending flights from and to that country until the end of the year.

The suspension will come into effect on Wednesday — after 11.59 pm on Tuesday (December 22) — and will be in place until 11.59 pm on December 31.


Pakistan has also imposed travel restrictions on inbound travellers from UK. The restriction will be on all direct and indirect flights from the UK, effective December 23 at 12:00am.


On Sunday, France said it will halt all travel from Britain for 48 hours from midnight Sunday including journeys “related to goods transport by road, air, sea or rail”.

The ban on all but unaccompanied freight comes as companies scramble to shift merchandise across the Channel with days to go until Britain finally quits EU trade structures.

Prime Minister Jean Castex’s office said the 48-hour period would offer time to coordinate a joint EU response that would ultimately allow travel from the UK to resume “with compulsory testing on departure”.


Germany will halt all air links with the UK from midnight on Sunday, with the ban initially slated to last until December 31, Health Minister Jens Spahn told ARD public television. Cargo flights will be exempt.

A government source said AFP Berlin is already “working on measures” to extend the suspension into January, when the end of Britain’s post-Brexit transition period means it will no longer be covered by EU rules that enable the flight ban.


Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said that he had signed a decree “which blocks flights from Great Britain and prohibits entry into Italy of people who have stayed there during the last 14 days”.

Anyone already in Italy who recently travelled from Britain must be tested for coronavirus, the statement added.

The new virus strain has been found in one person in Italy who recently returned from Britain, the health ministry said.

Easing restriction for Sao Paulo

Meanwhile, Emirates has announced that effective March 1, passengers from Sao Paulo in Brazil with confirmed onward connections through Dubai can be accepted for travel on EK262 between Sao Paulo and Dubai.

“All passengers must hold a negative COVID-19 test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure.”

However, passenger services from Sao Paulo with final destination Dubai remain suspended until further notice, the airline has clarified.

Till when are the restrictions imposed?

Emirates’ flights to South Africa and Nigeria will remain suspended until March 10, in line with the government directives that restrict the entry of travellers originating from these countries into the UAE.

Emirates said customers holding tickets with final destinations in South Africa will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin and customers from both Abuja and Lagos in Nigeria will not be accepted for travel prior to or including this date (March 10).

However, flydubai said all direct and indirect flights from Nigeria are suspended until March 12.


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