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UAE suspends flights from Nigeria over rise in COVID-19 cases

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has suspended all inbound flights for national and international carriers and transit passengers from Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia over spike in COVID-19 cases.

The suspension will take effect from Saturday, December 25, UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority and the General Civil Aviation Authority announced on Thursday.

On Monday, December 13, the UAE had reportedly banned foreign airlines from airlifting Nigerian passengers into the country.

To this effect, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and other airlines connecting transit flights from their hubs into Dubai refused to board Nigerians.

The UAE had also claimed that the ban is due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

A statement on Thursday said flight operations will continue to transport passengers from the UAE to the same countries.

“The UAE nationals, their first degree relatives, diplomatic missions, official delegations between UAE and these countries and Golden residence holders are excluded from this decision.

“The excluded categories should present a negative COVID-19 test obtained within 48 hours of departure and a Rapid-PCR test at the airport within six hours of departure whenever possible and another PCR test at the airport upon arrival to UAE.

“A 10-day quarantine and a PCR test on the ninth day of entering the country is required for UAE nationals, their first-degree relatives, diplomatic missions and golden residence holders,” the statement read in part.

GCAA also affirmed that it is required for those coming from the four countries through other countries to stay in latter countries for at least 14 days before being allowed to enter the UAE.

Also, the statement noted that UAE citizens are barred from travelling to the four African countries except for the country’s emergency treatment cases, official delegations, and scholarships.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the Federal Government reinstated the daily flights of Emirates Airlines to Nigeria after the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority offered daily flight slots to Nigeria’s Air Peace to operate into Dubai Airport.

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