United Arab Emirates Blocking Travel from the Republic of the Congo
The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates announced on December 15th that it is imposing new travel restrictions as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus picks up steam.
Passengers flying from the Republic of the Congo, be the flight national or international, will not be allowed to enter the UAE. That area is seeing a rapid uptick in cases of the coronavirus, most notably the newest variant, Omicron.
If the passengers were in Congo as far as two weeks before coming to the UAE, they will be denied entry as well. Flights will continue to go to the Republic of Congo to return passengers there, but people leaving that country cannot enter the UAE for the time being.
There are some exceptions to that rule.
Citizens of the United Arab Emirates trying to re-enter the UAE from the Republic of the Congo are allowed in, along with their immediate relatives and any domestic workers they are sponsoring. If a person is on a diplomatic mission between the UAE and the Republic of Congo, they are exempt. Anyone on an official delegation and Golden Residence Holders are allowed in as well.
That being said, the authority is demanding certain measures be taken to halt the spread of the coronavirus for those entering the UAE from the Republic of the Congo. That includes three COVID-19 tests – a PCR test within 48 hours of their departure; a rapid-PCR test taken at the airport before their plane leaves; and another PCR test done at the airport in the UAE once their flight has landed. Those entering the UAE will also have to quarantine for 10 days and take a PCR test on the 9th day of that isolation.
If a person is coming from the Republic of the Congo by way of other countries, they must be able to prove they were in the other country for 14 days or longer to be admitted.
Citizens of the UAE are not permitted to travel to the Republic of Congo unless it’s for an official delegation, a medical emergency, or if the person is a student on an educational sponsorship.
There are restrictions for other African nations as well, including Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia.
People flying from those countries who hope to enter the United Arab Emirates will have to provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours of their departure if they are taking a direct flight, along with a rapid-PCR test taken at the airport within 6 hours of their flight departure time.
For transit flights departing from the countries listed above, passengers will have to provide the same negative PCR test from 48 hours or fewer from their departure time, along with the rapid test taken at the airport, and will also have to take a second rapid-PCR test upon arriving at the transit airport before they can go into the UAE.
If there are any issues with suspensions in flight operations, the GCAA says airline operators will reschedule flights and ensure the passengers’ safe return without having to pay extra, and without delay.
That new restriction for the UAE kicks in Friday December 17th at 8:00 a.m.