Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: All travelers entering or transiting UAE to require negative COVID-19 test before departure from Aug. 1. Other restrictions in place.

  • Alert Begins: 24 Jul 2020 12:39 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 03 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport, travel, and business disruptions, increased security

All inbound and transit passengers traveling to the UAE must have a negative COVID-19 test certificate from Aug. 1. The test must be taken a maximum of 96 hours before departure and from a pre-approved lab. This excludes children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability. While the announcement says that it applies to all seven emirates of the UAE, in the past, regulations announced regarding the UAE have not always been applied to Dubai Emirate. Authorities have yet to clarify if this is the case. Other measures in effect in the UAE are included below.


  • Abu Dhabi residents are allowed to take 48-hour trips to other emirates. Residents must be tested in Abu Dhabi before leaving. Authorities will check results upon returning to Abu Dhabi. If traveling outside of Abu Dhabi for longer than 48-hours, residents will have to take a new test.


  • If flying to Abu Dhabi, it is compulsory to have approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and present a negative COVID-19 test result. Upon arrival, all inbound passengers will undergo another COVID-19 test. Some flights from Abu Dhabi require a COVID-19 test result before departure. Regular inbound flights for tourists and visitors are not yet occurring.


  • International tourists have been permitted into Dubai since July 7. Arrivals have to download the "COVID-19 DXB" app. All travelers to Dubai, including passengers with a connecting flight, must complete a health declaration form.


  • Foreign nationals whose visas expired March 1-31 have been given three months from July 11 to renew their documents, after authorities revoked an earlier decision to extend their validity through Dec. 31. Foreign nationals currently abroad have been given a grace period to return once flights between their location and the UAE resume.


  • All residents are required to wear protective face coverings in public and maintain adequate social distancing.


  • Stringent precautionary measures will continue to be enforced in public areas and facilities across Abu Dhabi and Dubai based on guidelines issued by local and federal authorities.


  • Work permits were suspended effective March 19, except for internal transportation permits and employment permits for Expo 2020.


Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

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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