The United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities in Dubai had on June 19, announced a revision in procedures for international passengers coming from Nigeria, the Republic of India and South Africa.
In the newly- announced procedures, the authorities said it would ease restrictions and confirmed that Emirate Airlines would start carrying passengers from these countries with effect from June 23.
According to the UAE Embassy in Abuja, the new rules is contained in a statement issued by the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai.
Chairman of the Supreme Committee, Sheikh Mansoor Al-Maktoum said the updates are part of the Committee’s keenness to protect passengers and ease hassles for them without compromising on COVID-19 preventive measures.
“The Media Office announcement said the updated travel protocols are part of a normal process of revising and optimising preventive measures based on the latest local, regional and international developments.
“Following the announcement, UAE carrier Emirates Airlines confirmed it would start carrying passengers from South Africa, Nigeria and India in accordance with the new protocols from June 23.
“We look forward to facilitating travel from these countries and supporting various travellers’ categories.’’
Going further, it stated, “Residence visa holders from India and travellers from South Africa should’ve taken two doses of a vaccine approved by UAE authorities and carry RT-PCR tests reports from labs approved by the federal governments of these countries.
“But for Nigerians vaccination is not made mandatory but all other conditions apply. In addition to the above, Indians have to take a rapid PCR test four hours prior to their travel.
“While there are four vaccines in the UAE for use on eligible individuals against the COVID-19 infection – Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V and Oxford-AstraZeneca, it is unclear if the UAE has approved vaccines administered on Indian, South African and Nigerian citizens in their countries,” it stated.
As part of the protocols, all international passengers are also required to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours before departure, with the exemption of UAE citizens.
It states that only QR coded PCR test result certificates are accepted. All passengers must take a rapid PCR test 4 hours before flight departure and must undergo a PCR test on arrival at Dubai Airport.
Passengers should undergo institutional quarantine until they receive their PCR test result, which is expected within 24 hours.
Passengers should produce a negative PCR test certificate with a QR Code from labs approved by the Nigerian government.
In February 2021, the UAE authorities suspended the airlifting of passengers from Nigeria to Dubai but stated that airlines can airlift passengers from Dubai to Nigeria as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The ban on international flights from Nigeria by the UAE authorities was further extended in the month of March.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority had on February 5 barred the Emirates airline from Nigeria, due to non-compliance with COVID-19 protocols as well as the introduction of rapid antigen test as a requirement for Dubai travellers against the Nigerian government’s negative PCR requirements.
The federal government had earlier in June, said it was discussing with the UAE authorities on the resumption of flight operations between the two countries