01 October Saturday

Dubai eases restrictions; non vaccinated expats from India can return

Anas YassinUpdated: Tuesday Aug 10, 2021

Image : Al Vistara

Manama :  Dubai residence visa holders will be allowed to return to the UAE regardless of their vaccination status. Travellers are subject to the requirement of approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) and negative COVID-19 test results, local media reported citing airline sources.

This will be applicable only to Dubai resident visa holders. However, only those who have received the vaccine from the UAE are allowed to enter Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

Dubai residence visa holders are need to present a printout of GDRFA approval, a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure and a negative Rapid PCR test taken four hours prior to travel, the Khaleej Times reported. Their vaccination status will not be considered by airline representatives at check-in counters, the report added.

Air India, Air India Express, Indigo, Vistara Airlines and FlyDubai confirmed the new relaxation for Indian expats. According to the regulations received from the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, the airline’s responsibility is to check that Dubai-bound passengers have a valid GDRFA approval; and not their vaccination status, said an Air India official.

Referring to the new travel policy, Vistara Airlines has issued a notice to travel agencies and other stakeholders.

Responding to a customer on Twitter, the Emirates Airline confirmed the new relaxation for Indian expats.

Starting Thursday, the UAE allowed fully vaccinated residence visa holders from the six countries to return to the UAE as long as both jabs of their vaccine doses have been taken in the UAE.

Earlier in the day, some airlines informed the travel agents that people who are fully inoculated with Covishield vaccine from India can return to Dubai. However, later in the evening, the UAE airlines made it clear that those who have taken the jab from the UAE are being allowed to enter.