United Arab Emirates (UAE) has suspended all incoming flights from Nigeria and three other African countries from December 25, 2021.
The Gulf nation’s National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) made the announcement on Thursday, December 23.
The GCAA noted that the suspension became imperative following the emergence of the new COVID variant, Omicron, which continues to spread across the globe.
Nigeria on Tuesday recorded 2,123 fresh cases of COVID-19 , (the highest in a long time) as announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
In order to protect its citizens, the UAE will be banning all incoming flights from Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
However, the ban will not stop the transportation of passengers from UAE to the four selected countries. Travellers from the selected countries who go through other countries have been advised to remain in those countries for 14 days before entering the Emirates.
Nonetheless, “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 statement reads in part.
“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 announcement comes bare days after the federal government reinstated the flight approval for Emirates Airlines, as compensation for granting Air Peace multiple daily slots to fly to Dubai in the aftermath of the travel red list placed on Nigeria.
The Nigerian government is yet to respond to the latest move.