Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in the United Arab Emirates clarified COVID-19 restrictions for residents, nationals wishing to exit the country, late July 1.

  • Alert Begins: 02 Jul 2020 12:13 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 30 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport, travel, and business disruptions, increased security

Authorities in the UAE clarified restrictions residents and nationals must meet if they wish to exit the country late July 1. Anyone wishing to leave the UAE must first obtain a permit from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA). Travelers are required to present a negative coronavirus disease COVID-19 test obtained within the previous 48 hours prior to boarding a flight. Travelers must also fill in a health declaration form.

People over the age of 70 are not permitted to travel. Approval to leave the UAE will be granted based on the level of perceived risk in a destination country and the purpose of the journey. Travel for leisure or tourism is not permitted. Currently, people are permitted to travel for study, medical treatment, diplomacy, business, and residents who wish to return to their home country and come back to the UAE. All returnees must observe mandatory quarantine periods. According to a National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) spokesman, the restrictions are indicative at the national level, and additional procedures will be announced by local authorities. Other measures in effect in the UAE are included below.

Movement Restrictions
On June 27, the NCEMA in cooperation with the ICA announced that all foreign nationals with valid residency permits returning to the UAE must complete a pre-departure COVID-19 test from July 1.· Passengers who do not have a negative test within 72 hours from departure will not be allowed to board the flight. The test must be done at an accredited laboratory. Currently, there are accredited labs in 106 cities across 17 countries. Additional labs will be added in the coming days. The list has yet to be released.

For UAE residents returning from a country lacking any accredited laboratory, individuals will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival to the UAE. Thereafter, individuals will be required to undertake a 14-day quarantine period. All returning residents are required to download an app that will allow the resident to be monitored while in quarantine. It is currently unclear what specific app is required.

On June 21, authorities in Dubai Emirate announced new protocols and conditions for citizens, residents, and tourists traveling into or out of Dubai airports. Residents who hold Dubai-issued visas are permitted to return to the emirate on any airline on the condition that they obtain prior approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs and the airline. Residents must complete a health declaration form before arriving in Dubai. Upon arrival, all residents will undergo testing for COVID-19. Residents are to stay at home until they receive their COVID-19 test. If found positive, residents must quarantine for 14 days.

Since June 23, there are no restrictions on overseas destinations to which citizens and residents of Dubai can travel. Travelers are required to fill out a health declaration form before embarking and comply with guidelines and protocols followed in the countries they are traveling to. Residents are required to register their details on the "COVID-19 DXB" app on arrival and before departure.

Authorities in Dubai Emirate are also planning to admit international tourists from July 7; these arrivals are required to present a recent negative COVID-19 certificate or undergo testing upon arrival. All visitors must hold international health insurance.

Entry into Abu Dhabi Emirate, including Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain, and Al Dhafra, requires a permit until further notice. Residents can exit Abu Dhabi Emirate without a permit. Residents of Abu Dhabi may move freely between the emirate's regions, including Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain, and Al Dhafra. Residents wishing to enter Abu Dhabi's territory will need to present a negative COVID-19 test obtained within the previous 48 hours. Results must be shown via the UAE's "Al Hosn" app or through an official message from any hospital or screening center affiliated with the country's National Screening Programme.

On June 4, authorities announced plans to permit the transfer and transit of passengers from several international airports. The measure applies to Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), Dubai International Airport (DXB), Sharjah International Airport (SHJ), and national flag carriers Emirates Airlines (EK), Etihad Airways (EY), Fly Dubai (FZ), and Air Arabia (G9). Authorities did not specify the exact date that transit flights will be permitted; regular passenger flights remain suspended until further notice. Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways have resumed some regular nonrepatriation flights to several global destinations. Passengers are only permitted to fly if they comply with their destination countries' entry criteria and requirements.

Through at least July 7, any person wishing to return to the UAE must be an Emirati national or resident. Travelers to the UAE must first receive approval from the ICA. Work permits were suspended effective March 19, except for internal transportation permits and employment permits for Expo 2020.

Following the completion of the national disinfection campaign, Dubai trams have resumed regular operation hours. Since at least May 30, other shared transportation services in Dubai, including marine transportation, are operational.

Business and Social Restrictions
All residents and Emirati nationals are required to wear protective face coverings in public and maintain adequate social distancing. Nationwide restrictions on children under the age of 12 visiting shopping malls were lifted June 24.

In Dubai Emirate, children under the age of 12 and those over 60 years old are now permitted to visit swimming pools, cinemas, gyms, and shopping malls. They are also able to visit museums, art galleries, public libraries, parks, and beaches, which are allowed to function at 100 percent capacity. Stringent precautionary measures will continue to be enforced in public areas and facilities across Dubai based on guidelines issued by local and federal authorities.

Authorities in Abu Dhabi Emirate have allowed hotel beaches, shopping malls, restaurants outside shopping malls, and museums to reopen with a reduced capacity. Individual outdoor sports practiced in open spaces, such as horse riding and cycling, are also allowed for people aged 12-60.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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