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UAE enacts travel ban on unvaccinated citizens as Omicron cases rise

UAE enacts travel ban on unvaccinated citizens as Omicron cases rise

The United Arab Emirates has announced a full travel ban from January 10 onwards for those of its citizens who had not yet taken a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. The only exemptions are those who have a valid medical reason to remain unvaccinated or humanitarian reasons, the UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority declared on Saturday.

"Ban on Travel on UAE citizens unvaccinated with Covid-19 vaccine, starting Jan 10, 2022, with a requirement to obtain the booster dose for the fully vaccinated," the official handle of NCEMA posted on Twitter. "With an exemption for medically exempted from taking the vaccine, humanitarian & treatment cases."

On Saturday, the UAE reported 2,556 fresh Covid-19 cases in the previous 24 hours, taking the cumulative infections to 764,493, according to the ministry of health and prevention. The ministry reported one virus-related death, taking the country's death toll at 2,165.

To combat the six-month high in cases, the UAE has imposed a mandatory RT-PCR test on citizens flying in from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Brazil and Russia. Random testing will be conducted on citizens of other countries.

Cases of the highly-mutated Omicron variant have also been rising across the world, resulting in the cancellation of thousands of flights just before Christmas and New Year's as flight crews faced massive shortages due to infected staff.

A report by the Hindustan Times has also claimed that a proposed visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE was put off due to the Omicron issue. Had it gone ahead, the trip would have been the Prime Minister's first foreign visit this year.

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TAGS:UAEFlightsCovid-19Travel banOmicron
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