The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned entry of passengers travelling from 16 countries in the world including Uganda over the coronavirus threat.
The other 15 countries whose passengers have been banned are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Liberia, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Zambia.
“The current development on the COVID-19 pandemic leads the UAE to impose new flight and passengers’ restrictions. The UAE government is closely monitoring the situation and will provide further updates and instructions as necessary,” a circular by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said.
The Ugandan Wire has learned that the move has been made to harmonize flight and passenger restrictions from the countries but that this will not affect diplomats and those suffering from medical emergencies.
“All other previously stated travel protocols — including allowing entry only to UAE citizens, diplomats, golden and silver residency visa holders — will remain in place. Private charter jet regulations still hold, with no more than eight passengers allowed to travel per flight,” GCAA noted.
“Confirmed COVID-19 patients or those who have come in close contact with COVID-19 patients should generally remain in place and not travel until they meet the criteria for discontinuing isolation or quarantine period based on national protocol of the country they are in. This includes UAE national passengers who wish to return home or those planning to travel to other countries.” stated the circular.
UAE is a destination for many Ugandans, especially migrant workers who fly to the Middle Eastern country on a daily basis.
According to the the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development indicates that 12,000 Ugandans leave for the Middle East every year in search for jobs.