Manama : The UAE and Oman on Tuesday extended a ban on all flights from India for an indefinite period in wake of a severe spike in Covid-19 cases amid the second wave of the pandemic.
The UAE’s General Authority of Civil Aviation and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority announced the suspension of all arrival from India except cargo flights. The end date for this suspension has not been announced to date.
The ban, which started on April 25 with a decision to extend after May 4, applies to travellers from India on all flights on national and international carriers. The ban is being applied to all arrival via India (transit) with the exception of transit flights coming to the UAE and heading onward to India. However, UAE citizens, diplomatic missions appointed by the countries, official delegations, businessmen travelling on chartered flights and golden residency holders are exempted.
This decision also applies the entry for travellers who were in India in the 14-day period prior to arrival in the UAE. The Civil Aviation General Authority stated that passengers coming from India via other countries are necessary to provide proof of a period of stay in those countries of no less than 14 days in order to be allowed to enter the UAE.
Travel agents had been told last week that the suspension of carriage of passengers from India to the UAE would stay in place until May 14. The latest announcement clarifies that the suspension will stay in place, and residents and visitors would have to wait until the authorities to announce the end date.
Transportation of passengers from the Gulf country to India will continue to be allowed.
Travellers who exempted from the ban will be subject to precautionary measures that include a 10-day quarantine and PCR testing at the airport and on the fourth and eighth days after entering the country.
In addition, the pre-flight mandatory PCR testing period has been reduced from 72 to 48 hours, and all tests must be administered by accredited laboratories that issue results carrying a readable QR code.
The Civil Aviation authority called upon all travellers affected by the decision to contact the related airlines to reschedule their flights and ensure their safe return to their final destinations without delay.
Oman’s Supreme committee assigned to tackle the covid pandemic has also prolonged the ban on travellers from India, as well as people coming from any country if they passed through India during the 14 days prior to flying to the country.
The Committee has also extended the entry ban until further notice on travellers coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sudan, Lebanon, South Africa, Brazil, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and the UK. It also announced that all arrivals from Egypt and Philippines would be barred from entering Oman, local media reported.
The ban will come into effect from Friday, May 7, 2021, until further notice.
However, Omani citizens, diplomats, health workers, and their families are allowed to enter and will be subject to the entry procedures.
India's coronavirus infections surged past 2 crore on Tuesday, becoming the second country after the United States to pass the grim milestone.
India's tally of coronavirus infections surged past 20 million on Tuesday, becoming the second nation after the United States to pass the grim milestone. The cases are expected to peak this week according to expert reports. Currently, the country has 3.45 million active cases.
On Tuesday, India reported 357,229 new cases over the last 24 hours, while deaths rose 3,449 for a toll of 222,408, health ministry data showed.
India's deadly second wave of infections has been considered as the world's biggest surge in coronavirus infections as it takes just over four months to add 10 million cases, versus more than 10 months for its first 10 million.