Coronavirus: UAE allows GCC citizens to enter country

Travellers must undergo a medical test on arrival and self-isolate for two weeks, to limit spread of Covid-19

UPDATE: The UAE has revised its decision and temporarily suspended GCC citizens from entering the country.

The UAE will allow travellers with GCC citizenship to enter the country beginning Saturday, exempting them from a border closure announced this week.

Eligible passport holders will be able to travel to the UAE from 10am on Saturday until further notice.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation said citizens that travel to the UAE must undergo a medical exam on arrival and self-isolate at home for 14 days.

"Those who do not own a home [in the UAE] will be quarantined for 14 days according to decisions by the concerned authorities," the ministry said in a statement.

The measure comes a day after the UAE closed its borders to all travellers, including resident visa holders, to stop the spread of coronavirus. Emiratis were also banned from travel, except to return to the UAE.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia said it would suspend all domestic flights, buses, taxis and train services for 14 day, beginning Saturday, as a precautionary measure to limit the spread of coronavirus. Saudi Arabia has so far confirmed 274 cases of the Covid-19 virus with eight recoveries.

Oman and Kuwait also closed their borders to travellers. Kuwait  suspended all commercial passenger flights and entry to any travellers other than nationals and residents of Kuwait, their immediate relatives and domestic workers. While Oman banned the entry of tourists through all land, sea and airports from Thursday.

Bahrain stopped issuing all visas on arrival from March 18, the country’s ministry of interior said. This excluded those travelling on diplomatic passports. Only residents and nationals of Bahrain, GCC nationals and those with existing visas are now allowed to enter.

Flights between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are also suspended and the King Fahd Causeway is closed to all traffic.