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UAE Bars Citizens From Traveling To India, Pakistan, Other Countries Amidst A Raging Pandemic

Cargo flights, as well as business and charter flights, would be exempted from the restrictions.

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned its citizens from traveling to several countries, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

This comes after the UAE extended the travel ban on passengers from 14 countries until July 21 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Foreign Ministry and the National Emergency, Crisis, and Disaster Management Authority stated that, with the start of the travel season, citizens need to comply with all precautionary and preventive measures related to Covid-19.

“Flights from 14 countries, includes Liberia, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic Of Congo, Uganda, Zambia, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and South Africa, will remain suspended until 23:59 hours of July 21, 2021,” said UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority in a notice issued to Airmen (NOTAM).

However, cargo flights, as well as business and charter flights, would be exempted from the restrictions.

The UAE authorities also instructed UAE citizens to adhere to self-isolation should they get Covid-19 positive during their travel and ensure compliance with all instructions, requirements, and health protocols applied by their host countries. 

Meanwhile, infected Emiratis will be allowed to return to the UAE after getting the necessary approvals from the relevant authorities in the host country as well as the competent health departments in the UAE.

On June 29, UAE’s long-haul carrier, Emirates, said that it had flown around 100 tonnes of Covid-19 relief material, free of charge, to India to help the country combat the pandemic. 

Under the Emirates India Humanitarian Airbridge, Emirates donated cargo capacity to transport essential supplies such as relief tents and thousands of oxygen cylinders and concentrators free of charge on flights to Indian destinations. 

“Emirates is deeply connected and committed to India,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo.

“The Emirates India Humanitarian Airbridge was our contribution to assist the Indian community fight the second wave of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. We are heartened that India is overcoming the virus, and we are honored to have supported the efforts of partners by donating much-needed air cargo capacity for moving essential goods quickly and reliably into nine cities.”

Eltayeb Adam, UNICEF Representative to the Gulf Area, said that tackling the pandemic is a race against time and also a complex logistics operation that works around to clock to provide frontline health workers with the equipment they need and ensure equitable access to vaccines for all.

“From our warehousing hub in the United Arab Emirates, UNICEF can rapidly deploy supplies across continents,” he said. “That capability could not be possible without our partner’s support.”

 On May 13, the first shipment under the Airbridge initiative flew from the capital of UAE, Dubai, to India’s capital, New Delhi, and comprised 12 tonnes of multi-purpose tent equipment for field hospitals sent by the World Health Organization through the International Humanitarian City. 

(With inputs from ANI)

(Edited by Amrita Das and Saptak Datta)

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