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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 17 January 2021

A travel guide to the destinations on Abu Dhabi's 'green' list: the rules and what you need to know

You will no longer need to quarantine when you return from these countries and territories, but here are the rules when you arrive at the other end

Abu Dhabi will welcome back international visitors from Thursday, December 24.

The Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee has announced that travellers arriving from “green” countries and territories will not be required to quarantine upon arrival in Abu Dhabi. Instead, they must take a PCR test when they land and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Follow-up PCR tests are then required on the sixth and twelfth days after arriving in Abu Dhabi.

While this opens up opportunities to travel to these destinations, since you will no longer have to quarantine when you get back home, many of the places on the list still have stringent travel restrictions in place. Here’s a guide:

Brunei

At present, foreign nationals are only being allowed into Brunei for essential business travel or other exceptional reasons, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All visitors arriving in Brunei require approval from the government and must undergo a self-isolation period of between 2 and 14 days. Proof of a valid hotel booking for at least six days starting from the date of arrival is also required. There are currently no direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Brunei.

China

While China is slowly opening up to tourism and Etihad is operating direct flights to Shanghai and Beijing, the country still has a mandatory 14-day quarantine in place for all foreign nationals entering the country. This can be completed at a government-selected facility or a hotel, at the traveller’s own expense. A negative PCR test is required on arrival and health screening procedures are in place at airports.

Domestic travel is allowed, although visitors have to wear masks, download health-tracking apps on their phones and provide personal contact information to move about in the country, visit tourist sites or use public transport. Certain cities and provinces within China may also require additional quarantine periods for domestic travellers.

Hong Kong

Non-Hong Kong residents are currently being denied entry into the country.

Isle of Man

International visitors cannot currently enter the Isle of Man. The island entered a second, three-week period of lockdown on January 7 and has closed its borders to all non-residents. Travel off the island is also strongly advised against. Residents who are returning from abroad must register in advance, with no guarantee of entry into the country.

Kuwait

Entry to Kuwait is restricted and visas on arrival are suspended. Only Kuwaiti nationals and their first‑degree relatives, residents of Kuwait, GCC nationals and a few other select groups can enter the country. Even then, they can only enter if they have not visited any of the countries on Kuwait's restricted list within 14 days of their arrival. All travellers over the age of 6 must take a Covid-19 PCR test before departure, download the Shlonik app and undergo a 14‑day home quarantine on arrival.

Macau

Travellers from foreign countries are currently prohibited from entering Macau. Visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan will also be denied entry if they have visited a foreign country within 21 days of arriving in Macau.

Mauritius

Mauritian nationals, residents and tourists travelling for long stays are allowed entry into the island nation, but visitors must complete a 14-day mandatory in-room quarantine at a hotel of their choice.

All visitors are required to take a PCR test up to seven days before departure, and they must have confirmed accommodation for the duration of their stay, as well as completed passenger health declaration and locator forms.

Visitors to Mauritious must complete a 14-day mandatory in-room quarantine at a hotel of their choice. Unsplash
Visitors to Mauritius must complete a 14-day mandatory in-room quarantine at a hotel of their choice. Unsplash

Arriving passengers will have to undergo a PCR test at the airport on the day of arrival and then again after seven and 14 days. If they test positive for Covid‑19, they will be transferred to a public medical institution for treatment.

Mongolia

Mongolia has imposed an almost total ban on the entry of foreigners and has limited incoming air traffic to government-controlled charter flights.

New Caledonia

Residents and pre-approved visitors can visit New Caledonia as long as they can prove that entry is for urgent family and/or work reasons. However, a mandatory 14-day isolation period is still in force and must be completed in a hotel requisitioned by the government. This does not apply to arrivals from Wallis and Fortuna.

All travellers over the age of 11 must take a PCR test within 72 hours before entering and must show proof of a negative result before embarking. A completed International Travel Certificate must be presented prior to boarding and to immigration upon arrival or when transiting.

New Zealand

The New Zealand border is currently closed to almost all travellers, to help stop the spread of Covid-19. The only people allowed to enter the country are New Zealand citizens and permanent resident visa holders; the partner or dependent child of a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident; a diplomat who holds a post in New Zealand; and Australian citizens or permanent residents ordinarily resident in New Zealand.

Oman

Oman is open to travellers from the GCC, as well as 103 other countries. The Royal Oman Police recently announced that travellers from approved destinations do not need a visa to fly to the sultanate.

The new programme applies to several countries, including Germany, France, Spain and Italy. Travellers from the UK, Turkey, Japan, Brazil, Russia, China, Egypt and Jordan are also eligible. The complete list of countries included in this category can be found on Oman Air's website. Travellers entering the country under this rule cannot spend more than 10 days in the sultanate. GCC citizens and residents, as well as foreign diplomats, can also enter the country without prior permission.

All passengers arriving in Oman have to wear a tracking bracelet and quarantine for at least seven days. Other than GCC citizens and Omani residents, all travellers must have a confirmed hotel reservation and a return ticket, as well as international health insurance that covers the cost of treatment for Covid-19 for at least one month.

Only Omani citizens and residents can enter the sultanate via land ports at this time.

Qatar

Qatar's borders are open to citizens, GCC nationals and residency holders, with no prior permission needed to enter the country. Quarantine rules are in place for all arriving passengers with seven days isolation at home for those coming from countries on Qatar's green list – which does not currently include the UAE.

Travellers from all other destinations must quarantine for seven days in a designated government-approved hotel and must be booked through Discover Qatar before travel. The country is not yet open for tourism purposes but transit passengers can transfer through Qatar, where they will undergo thermal screening and temperature checks.

Sao Tome and Principe

All air passengers arriving in Sao Tome and Principe are required to have proof of a negative PCR test that has been taken within 72 hours prior to arrival.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has suspended all international flights indefinitely to help combat the spread of Covid-19, and Etihad has stopped all passenger services between Abu Dhabi and Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh until further notice. The status of this suspension is under regular review by Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Interior. In exceptional circumstances, arrangements are being made for citizens and residents to return to Saudi Arabia during this period, with a 14-day quarantine on arrival.

St Kitts & Nevis

Prior to their arrival, all incoming passengers to St Kitts & Nevis are required to complete a Travel Authorisation Form.

International travellers must have a negative PCR test and booked accommodation in order to complete the form. Once it’s been submitted, with a valid email address, it will be reviewed and the visitor will receive an approval letter to enter.

These regulations are valid for passengers travelling from the Caribbean, US, Canada, Europe, Africa and South America.

Taiwan

All passengers must undergo quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Taiwan. Foreign visitors must also present a negative PCR test, issued within three working days of departure.

Thailand

The Thai government recently lifted restrictions on its Special Tourist Visa, which allows entry for tourists from any country in the world. In addition, visa exemptions have been reactivated for eligible passport holders from 56 countries, including the UAE, for a stay of between 30 and 90 days.

Schoolchildren ride bicycles past the Ancient City Heritage Park in Samut Prakan. AFP 
Schoolchildren ride bicycles past the Ancient City Heritage Park in Samut Prakan. AFP 

A 14-day mandatory quarantine is still in place, but the Thai Tourism Authority has launched a series of Amazing Thailand Plus packages, which include special fares on international and domestic flights, rooms at government-accredited Alternative State Quarantine hotels, and post-quarantine tours or transfers. Offers are valid until March.

However, a new record cluster of infections in Samut Sakhon province means the government is currently considering lockdowns in other parts of the country.

Countries and territories that have been removed from the green list:

Australia

Etihad Airways is currently operating flights from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne and Sydney, although high demand means that flights to both destinations are almost completely sold out until the end of January.

At present, Australia’s borders are only open to citizens, residents, immediate family members and travellers who have been in New Zealand for the previous 14 days. Anyone arriving in Australia by either air or sea will need to go into government-approved mandatory quarantine for 14 days.

Greece

Permanent residents of the UAE can travel to Greece but must arrive on a direct flight from the UAE. Etihad has suspended its flights to Athens.

Greece has implemented a nation-wide lockdown until Thursday, January 7, with a curfew in place between 9pm and 5am. Schools, restaurants, bars, courts and ski resorts will remain closed until that date. In addition, all travellers entering Greece until January 7 will be required to self-isolate, at their home or a hotel, for three days. All arrivals will need to show proof of a negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours before travel. A further test will be carried out upon arrival, with results expected within 24 hours.

All passengers will also need to fill in a Passenger Location Form the day before entering the country, providing detailed information about their point of departure and their address during their stay in Greece. Failure to fill in the form could result in your airline not allowing you to board, a €500 ($609) fine or Greek authorities preventing you from entering the country. The form can be found on the Visit Greece app or www.travel.gov.gr. Once in Greece, domestic flights are only available for essential travel.

Greenland

Residents of the UAE are currently banned from entering both Greenland and Denmark.

Malaysia

Foreign visitors are not allowed entry to Malaysia until Thursday, December 31, and this restriction may be subject to extension by the government.

Singapore

Etihad is currently flying to Singapore, but all passengers, except citizens and permanent residents, must apply for entry approval from relevant government agencies. All inbound travellers will be required to take a PCR test up to 72 hours before departure and will need to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Tajikistan

The government of Tajikistan has imposed temporary restrictions on the entry of all foreign nationals through all checkpoints into Tajikistan. Any travellers entering are currently being quarantined in state-run facilities for 14 days.

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is welcoming a limited number of international flights. From Friday, December 25, all individuals arriving at airports, railway stations and border checkpoints in the country will undergo express testing, at the expense of the traveller. Even those who have proof of a previous PCR test must submit to the new procedures. While in the country, visitors must wear a face mask while in public, or be subject to fines.

Vietnam

There are very strict limitations on who can enter Vietnam at this time, with only diplomats, specialists, highly skilled workers and business travellers currently allowed. All visitors are required to take a PCR test before departure, quarantine for 14 days and have medical insurance for the duration of their stay. All visitors to Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, and Hanoi are required to wear masks in public and may be fined for failure to comply.

Updated: January 11, 2021 02:43 PM

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