COVID-19: UAE Foreign Ministry advises Emiratis to follow three stages when travelling abroad

COVID-19: UAE Foreign Ministry advises Emiratis to follow three stages when travelling abroad

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) has issued a set of COVID-19 related guidelines for Emirati passengers who intend to travel for their summer holidays.

The travel advisory comes a week before Spain intends to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers on June 7. The world’s second most popular destination after France, Spain registered 83.5 million foreign visitors in 2019, official figures show.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), tourist arrivals are estimated to have fallen 74 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, the number of foreign tourists visiting Spain collapsed by 77 per cent compared with a year earlier, falling below 19 million visitors as pandemic restrictions put the brakes on leisure travel.

  1. Before travelling
    Prior to traveling abroad, MoFAIC pointed out that passengers are required to comply with the necessary COVID-19 precautionary measures.

“The passenger must also read and be informed on all health regulations and guidelines related to COVID-19 issued in the country of destination, and register for the Twajudi service offered by the ministry,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs added.

Passengers should also check the airline’s guidelines, as well as the entry rules and regulations of their final destination, and complete any required forms or paperwork prior to departure.

All citizens travelling abroad must hold a paper-based negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, taken no more than 72 hours before departure, from an officially recognised testing centre.

In the event that the person is found to have a high temperature or displays symptoms of respiratory disease, he or she will be isolated and evaluated by the health centre at the airport. If the passenger is suspected to have contracted the coronavirus, he or she will be transferred to health authorities in the emirate.

  1. What to do abroad
    When visiting foreign countries on holiday, UAE passengers are advised to monitor their health on a daily basis and be on the look-out for any COVID-19 symptoms. If such symptoms do arise, such as coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, travellers are required to immediately consult a doctor to assess their health condition.

In the event that an Emirati tourist tests positive for COVID-19, they must visit the nearest emergency centre as soon as possible, and contact the UAE mission of that country.

  1. Rules for UAE arrivals
    The regulations for returning passengers are similar to those when initially flying out, and include the use of face masks and social distancing. If a passenger shows any COVID-19 related symptoms, they will be isolated for evaluation by health authorities at the airport.

Further conditions may exist, depending on whether passengers arrived from medium or high risk countries.

Landing in Dubai

If you are a citizen of the UAE, and coming through Dubai’s airport, you are exempt from the PCR test prior to departure, regardless of the country you are coming from. However, you will be tested on arrival in Dubai. On arrival at the Dubai International Airport, UAE nationals must download and register on the COVID-19 DXB Smart App.

Some countries require travellers leaving for the UAE to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate on the return journey, according to the latest update published on the website of Dubai Airports. This test must be carried out no more than 72 hours before the scheduled return flight time.

Landing in Abu Dhabi

Passengers are required to take a PCR test no more than 72 hours before the flight, undergo a thermal screening and will get another COVID-19 PCR test on arrival at Abu Dhabi airport.