Manama : The UAE will suspend flights from India for a period of 10 days starting April 25 in wake of a severe spike in Covid-19 cases on the second wave of the pandemic.
The decision to ban travellers from India was announced on Thursday.
In a statement, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) said that the ban also applies to passengers who transited through India. Arrival of passengers from India through other countries is also not allowed unless they have stayed for 14 days in those (transit) countries.
UAE nationals, diplomatic passport holders and official delegations are exempted from the restrictions. Private jets will also be allowed. Departure flights will continue to operate.
Cargo flights will continue, as usual, between the two countries, the statement added.
The ban will come into force from 11.59 pm on Saturday, April 24, and is subject to review after 10 days.
People who are exempted from the ban will have to undergo the prescribed entry procedures when they reach the country, the statement added. Ten-day quarantine will be mandatory for them. They will have to undergo RT-PCR test upon arrival, day 4 and on day 8, the statement said.
The civil aviation body also announced that the validity of pre-flight PCR test is reduced to 48 hours instead of 72 hours. Hence, all passengers travelling to the country must hold a valid negative Covid-19 test certificate that's issued within 48 hours from the time of collecting the sample. PCR test will only be accepted from accredited labs that generate a QR code, it added.
The UAE has become the latest to ban travellers from India, after Oman, the UK, the US, Hong Kong and New Zealand following a surge in coronavirus caseload. Oman on Wednesday decided to ban arrivals from India starting from Saturday, April 24.
The UAE is known to be the busiest route for all international flights from India. Following the decision, all inbound flights for national and international carriers from India will be affected.
People are barred from booking flights from the UAE to Indian destinations after April 24 on the Emirates, Etihad, flydubai and Air Arabia websites, Khaleej Times reported.