Several days ago, the United Arab Emirates stopped issuing visas for new visitors apart from some protected groups like diplomatic passport holders in order to stop or slow the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. That measure, however, did not extend to eligible citizens from 70 different countries who can obtain a visa on arrival.
That, however, has now been stopped after the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship said it would suspend issuing visas on arrivals from 1 am on Thursday “as part of the precautionary and preventive measures adopted by the country to contain the spread of COVID-19.”
The UAE did not immediately say when the suspension may be lifted, although suggested the restrictions could be lifted if a medical clearance unit is set up in the airport of the departure country.
These clearance units would likely look similar to ones set up already at Dubai International Airport where all passengers are subject to thermal screening before they are allowed to board a plane. Anyone with an abnormal temperature is subject to further screening and possibly even a COVID-19 test.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also announced it would ban all of its citizens from travelling abroad until further notice. The country had already stopped teachers from going overseas in an attempt to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
For now, transit passengers are still allowed to travel through the UAE although the list of cancellations being posted by both Emirates and Etihad, as well as flydubai and Air Arabia continues to rise by the day.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.