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Friday, September 17, 2021

Covid-19: UAE eases rules for returning residents

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UAE will now allow entry of all residents, who are fully vaccinated with WHO-approved vaccines from previously restricted countries

The UAE has relaxed certain travel rules in order to facilitate the return of residents stranded outside the country.

From September 12 onwards, valid residence visa holders, who have been completely vaccinated with WHO-approved jabs but were stranded in one of the countries in the suspended list for more than six months, can return to the UAE with a new entry permit, and rectify their status after entry.

These relaxations would apply to non-Dubai visa holders as Dubai had already relaxed rules regarding the arrival of its residents, who were not required to show their Covid-19 vaccination certificate if they were returning from countries including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The Dubai authorities had also previously extended the residence visas of expats stranded abroad if their visas expired after April 20, 2021.

As per the revised rules announced by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), the UAE will now allow entry of all residents, who are fully vaccinated with WHO-approved vaccines from previously restricted countries.

The decision covers passengers coming from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Namibia, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Africa, Nigeria and Afghanistan, the two authorities said in a joint statement today.

The latest change opens up travel to residence visa holders from the listed countries, who were not vaccinated in the UAE.

How to apply for new permit

Arriving passengers must apply via the website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), and complete the vaccination application in order to get the necessary approvals, in addition to presenting the approved vaccination certification upon departure for the UAE.

A negative PCR test result, done within 48 hours before departure at an approved lab that has a QR code, must also be presented before departure.

They must also undertake a Rapid PCR test before boarding and another PCR test on the fourth and eighth day of arrival while complying with all precautionary measures in place.

Children under 16 years old are exempt from these procedures.

Those who are fully vaccinated with any WHO-approved vaccines and who have been staying in one of the countries in the suspended list for more than six months since suspension decision was issued for each country, can come to the country under a new entry permit, and rectify their status after entry.

All other previously announced precautionary measures for unvaccinated people coming from those countries remain in place.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WC Times staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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