In a latest blow to travellers, both seeking entry to Dubai for leisure and business activities, UAE has extended the ban from South Asian countries till August 1. This means travellers from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan on any of the Visa won’t be able to travel to the Gulf country as per a report on Simple Flying. The report further states that bans from South Africa and Nigeria have also been extended until the same date.
Back on April 24, India to Dubai international flight was suspended due to the second wave of Coronavirus spreading across the country. Dubai is one of the popular destinations for both leisure and business travellers and there was huge demand to reopen flights on this route, since number of COVID-19 cases have declined exponentially in India.
Dubai, then, partially lifted a ban allowing only three types of travelers to enter UAE. These are, UAE citizens, diplomats on official duty, and holders of the golden residency visa. Dubai also mentioned that passengers from India with residency visas could enter if they were fully vaccinated and completed three tests from 23rd June.
While this decision received a loud cheer from travellers, it never went into effect, with the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) extending restrictions as usual.
As per a report on Khaleej Times, following the announcement from Dubai to restart flights starting June 23, airports around India have been preparing to meet the requirements. 10 international airports now have rapid COVID testing labs to process results as required by the UAE’s proposed rules.
Emirates, the national air carrier of UAE had officially put a ban on flights to Dubai till July 15 and there was no official communication from Emirates and Civil Aviation Authority of Dubai. Following the same, airliners opened bookings on the India-Dubai route, with the Economy and First Class tickets on Emirates already been sold out.
Emirates has now confirmed that flights from South Asian countries cannot fly until August 1, in an official statement. Interestingly, Dubai authorities haven’t released a statement as of now.