The United Arab Emirates will lift a ban on transit passenger traffic from Pakistan, India, Nigeria and other countries from August 5, the federation’s National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority (NCEMA) said on Tuesday.
The UAE, a major international travel hub, has banned passengers from many South Asian and African countries for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
NCEMA said on Twitter that passengers travelling from countries where flights had been suspended would be able to transit through its airports from Thursday as long as they present negative PCR tests taken 72 hours prior to departure.
Final destination approval would also have to be provided, the authority said, adding that UAE departure airports would arrange separate lounges for transiting passengers.
In a tweet, the UAE embassy in Pakistan confirmed that travel for transit passengers from Pakistan would resume, “provided that the traveller’s last destination is accepted with submission of laboratory examination within 72 hours from the time of departure”.
The transit ban had also included Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Uganda.
NCEMA said that a ban on entry to the UAE for passengers from these countries would also be lifted for those with valid residencies and who are certified by Emirati authorities as fully vaccinated.
However, they would need to apply for online entry permits prior to travelling and would need to present a negative PCR test taken 48 hours prior to departure.
Those working in the medical, educational or government sectors in the Gulf Arab state as well as those studying or completing medical treatment in the UAE would be exempt from the vaccination requirement as would humanitarian cases.
The UAE had on July 15 withdrawn its requirement binding all Pakistani travellers to get their Covid-19 vaccination certificates attested by the Foreign Office and the UAE embassy starting August 1, hours after news of the condition became public.
The order was withdrawn after the Foreign Office had taken up the matter with UAE authorities.