UAE announces new procedures for residents to re-enter

UAE announces new procedures for residents to re-enter
UAE announces new procedures for residents to re-enter

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Special approval for residents who are trying to return to the UAE will no longer be needed, the government said on Wednesday.

Previously, all UAE residents abroad, who have a valid visa, had to apply for approval to return to the country from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship - if they were planning to travel into any emirate except .

When the online application was approved, residents were sent a code number to be used when booking tickets to travel to the UAE within 21 days.

From Wednesday, August 12, this procedure will no longer be in place and free travel will be permitted into the country, provided travellers carry out specific procedures.

These include updating their data, including a valid Emirates ID, passport number and citizenship, on uaeentry.ica.gov.ae. This will automatically allow residents to travel and no approval process is needed.

The ICA portal appeared to be down on Wednesday morning, possibly due to demand.

On Twitter, the National Crisis Emergency Management Authority (Ncema) said the decision coincided with the "end of the summer vacation for academic institutions, and the return of commercial activities and social facilities to normal".

Coronavirus outbreak

Once details have been updated, travellers must then take a PCR nasal swab test at an accredited lab. A negative test, taken within 96 hours of their flight, must be submitted when booking a ticket to the Emirates.

Ncema reiterated that "all precautionary measures will be applied to residents upon arrival to the UAE, which include a lab Covid-19 test and to abide by quarantine rules, plus downloading Al Hosn app, in order to preserve their health and safety".

Tourists are not yet permitted to travel to Abu Dhabi but can land in Dubai with a negative PCR nasal swab or DPI blood test.

Dubai, which has its own procedures, currently requires its residents to apply to its General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs (GDRFA) immigration service to return to the country, as well as a negative Covid-19 test.

Tourists travelling to Dubai do not need approval but must be tested in advance, in their home country.

New arrivals into the country may also be asked to take a second PCR test at the airport and must remain at a specified residence until results are known.

Only then will tourists or returning residents be allowed to leave quarantine in Dubai, if the test is negative. A 14-day quarantine is mandatory elsewhere in the UAE, regardless of the result.

An official estimate from the government suggested that more than 200,000 people with a valid UAE visa were abroad when the borders closed on March 19.

Since then, families and workers have been gradually returning.

Updated: August 12, 2020 08:40 AM

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