Etihad Airways reminds tourists they cannot yet fly into Abu Dhabi

The airline reiterated to travellers that only UAE residency visa holders can enter at present

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, July 8, 2020.   
Abu Dhabi International Airport Media Tour by Etihad.  Passengers at the Etihad Check-In area.
Victor Besa  / The National
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Etihad reminded travellers that Abu Dhabi is not yet open to tourists and visitors because of coronavirus precautions.

The carrier repeated the restrictions in an email to the companies and partners it works with.

It said only those with UAE residency visas can fly into the capital.

“All other types: Dubai-issued tourist visas and others will not be permitted entry," Etihad said. The only exception was a 96-hour transit visa for shipping crews.

The UAE closed its borders in March to cut the spread of the virus.

Dubai began to readmit tourists in July, when images showing immigration officials and travellers wearing face masks and gloves.

Travellers must take mandatory Covid-19 tests before they board any aircraft bound for the Emirates to prove they are free of the virus.

Some passengers have to take a second test on arrival, depending on their country of origin. Everyone who is waiting for a result must quarantine, but if the result is negative, they are allowed to leave their hotel room.

The emirate is hopes to allow cruise passengers back from the autumn.

About 200,000 residents were stuck when the UAE shut its borders and they are making a gradual return.

Federal rules on entering the UAE were relaxed recently, removing the need for residents to apply for clearance to come back to the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain.

But those living in Dubai, which has its own immigration service and crisis management committee, must seek permission before they fly home.

Passengers must apply to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) before they are allowed to book flights.

On Saturday, Dubai authorities confirmed residents can fly into any airport in the UAE providing they have clearance from the department.

“For arriving UAE residents through Dubai or Abu Dhabi airports, the GDRFA permit allows residents to return to Dubai through any UAE airport,” Mohammed Al Marri, director general of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, said in an online Q&A session on Saturday.

He also confirmed “all residents of the UAE can return to the country”.

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