Coronavirus: UAE to resume transit flights as new cases announced

Passenger flights to and from the country remain suspended

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The UAE will allow transit flights to pass through its three international airports, as the country slowly begins to lift restrictions and resume economic activities.

Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesman of the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority, said comprehensive measures has been put in place to protect passengers and airline staff at every stage of their journey.

Restoring normal life depends on committing to precautionary measures ... not adhering to them will lead to a dangerous outcome

Transit flights will resume at Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah international airports, but a date is yet to be announced. The country's airlines Etihad, Emirates, flydubai and Air Arabia are due to unveil flight schedules and other details, including safety procedures, in coming days.

Inbound and outbound passenger flights remain suspended until further notice.

Only repatriation flights and some inbound flights for residents are in operation as of now.

Mr Al Dhaheri said the decision was made following a safety study by experts from the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the General Civil Aviation Authority.

The experts have set safety guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 while resuming civil aviation activities in the country.

"Airport staff across the country have been thoroughly trained on precautionary measures including the screening of passengers and dealing with suspected cases," Mr Al Dhaheri said.

Mr Al Dhaheri said the move was "a new positive step in the gradual restoration of normal life".

Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed, chairman of Emirates airline and flydubai, said he welcomed the decision to reopen UAE airports for connecting travellers.

"Emirates and flydubai will shortly announce the resumption of passenger flights to more cities with connections to, and through, Dubai," Sheikh Ahmed said on Twitter.

The UAE on Wednesday announced 571 new cases of coronavirus from more than 41,762 tests across the country in the past 24 hours.

Officials said the infections brought the tally to 36,359, of which 16,936 are receiving treatment.

They said 427 people have recovered from the virus overnight, taking the UAE's recoveries to 19,153.

The death toll rose to 270 after one patient died of complications related to acute respiratory illness.

Dr Amna Al Dhahak, spokeswoman for the country's health sector, urged the public to adhere to safety measures as the country began to resume economic activity.

"It is the responsibility of the individual to adhere to precautionary measures to protect themselves and those around them," Dr Al Dhahak said.

"Restoring normal life depends on committing to precautionary measures. Not adhering to them will lead to a dangerous outcome."