UAE travel restrictions: five countries limiting travel from the Emirates

Germany is the latest country to add the UAE to its 'high-risk' list for travel

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Travel restrictions are constantly changing to reflect the evolving Covid-19 situation in countries around the world.

As the Omicron variant continues to spread, more countries are changing travel restrictions or introducing new rules for incoming travellers.

While the UAE has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, Covid-19 case numbers have increased in recent weeks. This has led to some destinations placing additional restrictions on travellers from the Emirates.

Here are five countries where travel from the UAE is prohibited or where tourists will face additional restrictions when flying from the Emirates.

Keep in mind that the UAE banned travel for all unvaccinated citizens from January 10, so if you've not been immunised and are a UAE citizen, there are many more countries off-limits.

1. Germany

On January 8, Germany added 39 countries to its list of high-risk areas, including the UAE. While this means the Emirates is now on the equivalent of Germany's red list, it doesn’t mean you can’t fly there. Instead, travellers need to register their visit on an online portal, have a negative PCR test result before flying and undergo quarantine at home or in a hotel on arrival.

The self-isolation period is 10 days, but there’s the option to end this early by taking a Covid-19 test and receiving a negative result after five days in quarantine.

2. Japan

In November, Japan eased its travel ban for some foreign travellers but the Asian country now has some of the strictest entry requirements in the world, with stronger measures being introduced after the spread of the Omicron variant.

A blanket ban prohibits travel for foreigners from most countries and tourism is suspended. These rules are in place until at least Monday, February 28. The few groups of travellers who are allowed to visit – such as those with existing resident status – cannot fly to the country if they have been in one of several countries or regions listed by the Japanese authorities.

The UAE is among these 159 territories, meaning people cannot travel to Japan if they have been in the Emirates 14 days prior to arrival, unless exceptional circumstances exist. This does not apply to those who have only transited Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

3. Cyprus

The UAE is also on the red list for travel to Cyprus. However, travel to the Mediterranean island is still allowed for non-essential reasons, including tourism.

All travellers heading to Cyprus must first complete the CyprusFlightPass form online for clearance to fly. A negative PCR result is also required from a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure and, because the UAE is now red-listed, travellers will have to foot the bill for the on-arrival PCR test when landing in Cyprus. However, it currently costs €15 (Dh63), so it's not an expense that's likely to make you cancel any trip plans.

4. Poland

Poland has maintained some of the most stringent restrictions when it comes to tourism and only foreigners from approved countries are allowed to enter.

There are currently 31 destinations on Poland's safe list, including Turkey, Morocco, Sweden and Malta, but the UAE remains absent, meaning that travel remains off limits to those coming from the Emirates, unless you are a Polish national.

However, if you’re only passing through, then you’re free to fly to Poland, with transit passengers who stay in the country less than 24 hours allowed to travel from any destination.

5. Belgium

Belgium is another country where additional restrictions are in place for some travellers from the UAE. The European country colour-codes destinations on its white list to determine the rules that visitors need to follow, and the UAE has recently moved to a red code.

Travel is still allowed, but tourists who are not fully vaccinated need to follow some additional restrictions. Belgium doesn’t recognise the Sinopharm vaccine, so if that’s what you have been immunised with, you’ll also have to follow the rules for unvaccinated travellers.

This includes getting a pre-departure negative Covid-19 test result no more than 72 hours before flying and undergoing another test on day seven of arrival. Passengers must also complete an online form at least 48 hours ahead of travel.

Updated: January 14, 2022, 11:02 AM