Coronavirus: UAE halts entry to GCC citizens

The suspension is temporary until there is a system for pre-testing for Covid-19

Seagulls soar over those gathered on a beach in front of the luxury Burj Al Arab hotel despite the global new coronavirus pandemic in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, March 20, 2020. The United Arab Emirates has closed its borders to foreigners, including those with residency visas, over the coronavirus outbreak, but has yet to shut down public beaches and other locations over the virus. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

The UAE has revised a decision to allow GCC citizens entry into the country.

The  Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has said it will temporarily suspend travellers with GCC citizenship from entering the country until there is a system for pre-testing for coronavirus.

The measure comes into place at midnight on Friday.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation had intially said it would allow travellers with GCC citizenship to enter the country beginning Saturday. But the advice has now changed.

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.