The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has indefinitely suspended all inbound flights from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria due to COVID-19 concerns.
The directive announced by the UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) takes effect from December 25th.
The suspension of flights from the four African nations is due to concerns related to the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
Travelers who were in the four countries 14 days prior to their arrival in the UAE will also be denied entry into the Gulf state.
UAE nationals, members of diplomatic missions and golden residence holders are excluded from the travel ban but they are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours of departure, undergo a Rapid-PCR test at the airport six hours before departure and another PCR test at UAE airports. They must also isolate for 10 days and take a nasal test on their ninth day in the country.
Passengers arriving in UAE from the four countries through other nations must stay in latter countries for at least 14 days before being allowed to enter the UAE.
UAE citizens are also barred from travelling to the four African countries except for the country's emergency treatment cases, official delegations, and scholarships.
The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority had on Tuesday announced a 48-hour ban on flights from Kenya before extending the suspension to December 24th.
There has been a surge in COVID-19 cases in Kenya over the past few weeks largely driven by the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.