UAE passenger flights from 16 countries remain suspended: GCAA – News

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The decision was announced in a new safety decision circular issued on Sunday.

Inbound passenger travel from a total of 16 countries to the UAE will remain suspended until further notice, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said Sunday.

The countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Liberia, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Zambia.

In a new safety decision circular issued on Sunday, July 18 — a copy of which Khaleej Times has seen — the authority has maintained status quo on previously issued travel restrictions.

Furthermore, the GCAA has barred all UAE nationals, with the exception of diplomats and those suffering from medical emergencies, from travelling to these countries as well.

The circular, said, “The current development on the Covid-19 pandemic leads the UAE to impose new flight and passengers’ restrictions. The UAE government is closely monitoring the situation and will provide further updates and instructions as necessary.”

The GCAA said the circular has been issued to “harmonise flight and passenger restrictions among all above countries”.

The circular reiterated several previously issued travel protocols, including allowing entry only to UAE citizens, diplomats, and golden and silver residency visa holders.

Inbound travel suspensions from South Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka have been in place since April and May this year. Travel suspensions to South Africa have been in place since January this year.

Thousands of UAE expatriates, stranded in these countries, are desperately waiting to return to their jobs and families.

Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for over ten years. For Khaleej Times, she covers NRI affairs, civil aviation, and immigration issues among other things. She completed her BA in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008 and is currently pursuing her MA in Leadership and Innovation in Contemporary Media at the American University in Dubai. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves food, and is mom to an over-enthusiastic Labrador retriever. Tweet at her @shootsprintrite.

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