The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has ordered the suspension of all incoming passenger flights from Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.
The UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) announced on Thursday.
The directive, UAE said, is due to concerns related to the spread of the omicron COVID-19 variant and will take effect from Saturday, December 25.
“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,” the statement reads.
“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 added that those coming from the four countries through other countries should stay in the latter countries for at least 14 days before being allowed to enter the UAE.
It also noted that UAE citizens are barred from travelling to the four African countries except for emergency treatment cases, official delegations, and scholarships.
This development may worsen the volatile diplomatic relations between UAE authorities and the federal government which escalated flight approval for Emirates Airlines and Air Peace.