Coronavirus: Dubai to allow residents to travel abroad and prepares to open for overseas visitors
Dubai government announces new travel rules on Sunday evening
Dubai will allow residents to travel overseas from Tuesday and welcome back tourists from next month.
Dubai's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management announced measures on Sunday night to allow citizens and expatriates to travel abroad and for tourists to visit the emirate.
It said more Dubai residents, who were stuck overseas when the borders closed on March 19, would begin to return home from Monday.
Officials outlined plans to allow people to travel to any foreign destination from June 23, as long as to the country to which they are travelling agreed to receive them.
The committee also revealed that Dubai will begin to welcome back visitors and tourists from July 7.
Return of UAE residents
Residents holding Dubai-issued visas will be allowed to return to the emirate from Monday, the government said.
But the application process has not yet been set out.
Previously, UAE residents who were stranded abroad had to register for a Residents’ Entry Permit on the website smartservices.ica.gov.ae, run by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA).
In the update issued by Dubai on Sunday, there was no reference to the ICA's system, named Tawajudi, which was set up to bring residents home.
Instead, Dubai Media Office said there was an approval process co-ordinated by their airline and Dubai's immigration service, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.
The authorities have been contacted for clarification.
All returning travellers must fill in a health declaration form before their journey to confirm they do not have Covid-19 symptoms.
The airline has the right to refuse any passengers displaying symptoms of the virus to board.
On arrival at Dubai airports, all residents will have to undergo a Covid-19 screening test.
Residents should register their complete details in the Covid-19 DXB smart app available online on arrival, before leaving the terminal.
Residents entering Dubai should not leave their house until they receive their test result. If they test positive, they will have to isolate themselves for 14 days.
"Residents sharing homes or living in high-density housing will be isolated at an institutional facility if they test positive," the committee said.
"The resident’s employer should make arrangements for the isolation facility in accordance with guidelines approved by the Covid-19 Command and Control Centre, or bear the costs of a paid isolation facility provided by the government."
Those travelling abroad
There will be no restrictions on the overseas destinations to which citizens and residents can travel from Tuesday.
But they must comply with guidelines and protocols followed in the countries to which they are travelling.
They are also required to fill in a health declaration form before flying to confirm they do not have any symptoms.
Again, the airline has the right to refuse boarding if travellers display any symptoms.
International tourists flying to Dubai must ensure they meet all requirements for entry to the UAE.
They must download the Covid-19 DXB app and register their details and fill in the health declaration form. They must have valid health insurance.
Tourists must have a PCR Covid-19 test with a maximum validity of four days ahead of departure.
They will be required to show proof of not being infected with the virus on arrival at Dubai airports.
If they cannot provide proof, they will undergo a PCR test at the airport.
"All arrivals will be subject to thermal screenings," the committee said.
"If a traveller is suspected to have Covid-19 symptoms, Dubai airports have the right to retest to ensure the tourist is free of the virus."
How passengers can travel safely
- All passengers must make themselves aware of the protocols and conditions specified by the Dubai government and authorities in destination countries before travelling, and ensure they comply with them.
- Passengers must disclose any health symptoms before travelling by filling out the health declaration form provided by the airline.
- UAE nationals must notify embassies in the countries they are visiting if they test positive for Covid-19.
- Tourists must ensure they have international health insurance before travelling.
- All tourists must show that they have tested negative in a PCR test conducted four days before the departure date. If they cannot provide test results, they will be tested at Dubai airports.
- Those who test positive for Covid-19 should isolate themselves for 14 days at their home or in an centre provided by the government at their own expense.
- Travellers must strictly follow physical distancing guidelines in accordance with measures followed at Dubai airports, and use face masks at all times.
- All passengers should strictly observe precautionary measures and monitor themselves for Covid-19 symptoms.
The next stage of Covid-19 recovery
The UAE has in recent weeks increased efforts to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis.
Safety measures to curb the spread of the virus are being gradually lifted, with businesses slowly welcoming back workers to offices and malls, with restaurants and beaches resuming operations.
At the end of last month, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, stressed the importance of getting back to business while still remaining mindful of the need to protect public health.
"We have entered a new stage, the stage for gradual return to economic life," Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.
"Every person is responsible. All institutions and sectors are involved in protecting their staff.
"Health will remain a priority and a responsibility. Returning the wheel of the economy is strategic and necessary."
As of Sunday, the UAE recorded 44,925 coronavirus cases since the outbreak first struck the country, of whom 32,415 people had recovered.
In recent days, the number of recoveries recorded has outstripped new cases, offering a boost to the country's fight against the virus.
Updated: July 6, 2020 10:02 AM