U-Turn on UAE Travel for Tourism - It's Allowed

Officials have now announced that travel from the UAE is allowed after all, after a statement last week said that travel for tourism or leisure has yet to be permitted with exemptions, including the ability to travel to your home country - so long as that is where you are a national - and the ability to travel for study.
This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19
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This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19

The UAE made a sudden U-turn on Friday announcing that citizens and residents are now allowed to travel for tourism, as long as they follow all the safety precautions and preventive measures designed to tackle Covid-19.

The National Authority for Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Federal Authority for Identity in a joint statement said travel will be allowed to destinations that UAE national carriers and other carriers are currently flying to.

The statement said that health protocols will be applied at the country's airports and stressed that compulsory requirements must be adhered to before departure and upon arrival from travel destination.

The current list of guidelines is as follows:

- UAE Citizens must register with the Tawajudi service, provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to facilitate communication, before, after and during the travel period.

- Residents should take the COVID-19 test before travel. The test should be taken within 48 hours of the date of travel. Results should be presented using Al Hosn App or at approved facilities in the airport. Travel will only be permitted if the COVID-19 test result is negative.

- Travellers must obtain international health insurance, which is valid throughout the period of travel, and covers the desired destination(s).

- Travellers are required to take the COVID-19 test before return at pre-approved laboratories in different countries.

- Residents and citizens over the age of 70 and people with chronic diseases are advised not to travel

The joint statement came just two days after UAE officials said that travel for tourism or leisure had yet to be permitted from the UAE, before detailing limited exemptions, including the ability to travel to your home country - so long as that is where you are a national - and the ability to travel for study.

According to Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, in addition to returning to home (passport) countries and to countries for studies, exemptions were to be granted for people travelling for medical treatment, a specific mission, diplomacy or business.

On social media, residents have expressed considerable confusion. Questions concern whether the rules apply equally across emirates, and whether children under 12 need the PCR test. Many residents are also trying to determine the difference between ISA and GDRFA forms. 


Dr Al Dhaheri also noted special permission were needed to travel to high risk nations.

Returning UAE residents need to show a Covid-free certificate before boarding flights home.

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