Coronavirus: UAE reviews provision of visas based on countries’ Covid-19 response

Regulations on entry to the Emirates are being updated to take nations’ response to the pandemic into account

An immigration official checks documents of passenger at Dubai Airport. WAM
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The UAE has paused the issue of visas to people of some nationalities depending on their countries' response to Covid-19, The National has learnt.

There has been some confusion around a reported bar on entry by the UAE to citizens of more than a dozen nations.

Sources told The National that people of some nationalities are unable to apply for visit or residence visas from UAE embassies abroad.

But the official declined to say which countries were affected, and said the regulations were reviewed frequently because of the fast-changing nature of the pandemic.

"The restrictions imposed on the countries from which people are coming into the UAE hinge on their respective ability to control the pandemic," an official source told The National.

Authorities in the UAE have protocols and criteria for the assessment of risk factors for ‎‎‎‎‎Covid-19, the source said.

“They address the ability of other countries to confront the virus outbreak. Also taken into consideration are the countermeasures adopted by other countries” towards potential infections among air passengers, the source said.

“These protocols are being assessed periodically according to specific indicators and ongoing developments given the outbreak’s current trajectory.”

This month Britain temporarily barred non-UK citizens from entering from Denmark amid concerns that a new coronavirus strain had been circulating in the Scandinavian country.

Earlier this year, most countries worldwide placed temporary restrictions on international arrivals.

Another 1,251 cases of Covid-19 were reported across the UAE on Sunday, raising the country’s total to 167,753 infections.

Authorities said 736 people had received an all-clear in the past 24 hours, adding to a nationwide recovery tally of 154,185. One patient died of Covid-19, taking the death toll to 570.

The number of active cases across the UAE stands at 12,998, a rise of more than 10,000 within two weeks. On November 4, fewer than 2,000 people had the virus.

Sunday’s new infections were detected after carrying out another 137,203 tests.