UAE suspends entry of travellers from 7 southern African nations

New travel rules will come into effect on November 29

FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2019 file photo, an Emirates jetliner comes in for landing at Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The airport is getting busier but it’s a long way from what it once was amid the coronavirus pandemic. To boost those numbers, airport CEO Paul Griffiths is urging countries to move away from mandatory quarantines on arriving passengers and toward the strategy embraced by Dubai. That includes aggressive coronavirus testing before departure, followed by mandatory mask-wearing on aircraft. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell, File)
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The UAE has suspended the entry of travellers from seven southern Africa countries due to concerns over a new Covid-19 variant.

The decision, which comes into effect on November 29, will affect passengers who have travelled through South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Botswana or Mozambique over the past 14 days.

The General Civil Aviation Authority and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority made the announcement on Friday.

Flights will continue to transport passengers from the UAE to these seven countries for now.

Citizens of the UAE, members of diplomatic missions, official delegations and those with golden residence visas are excluded from the new rules.

Those who are exempt will need to present a negative Covid-19 test obtained within 48 hours of departure, take a rapid PCR test at the airport within six hours of departure and perform another PCR test at the airport when arriving in the UAE.

A 10-day quarantine and a PCR test on the ninth day of entering the country will be required as well.

Official delegations will be required to quarantine at the airport until their test results are received and then will be able to continue their mission in the UAE without the 10-day quarantine.

UAE citizens are prohibited from travelling to the affected countries unless they are involved in emergency treatment cases, are members of official delegations or are on scholarships.

The announcement comes after the WHO designated the new B. 1.1.529 Omicron strain as a “variant of concern".

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Updated: November 27, 2021, 5:10 AM