Dubai: In the wake of the rising COVID cases due to the spread of variants, the UAE is reported to have decided to continue the entry ban from India and 13 other countries.
A notification released by the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) on Sunday, the flights from India, Pakistan, Liberia, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Zambia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and South Africa will remain suspended until July 21.
However, the directive excludes cargo flights, business and charter flights from the ban.
Indian expats are in agony on the anticipated loss of employment status due to the prolonged indefinite travel suspension.
Earlier, the GCAA said that UAE citizens, diplomats, official delegates, business planes and golden residence holders are excluded from the travel suspension, given that they adhere to a set of precautionary measures in UAE upon entry. The measures include mandatory 10-day quarantine and a PCR test at the airport and another set of PCR tests on day 4 and 8 since the entry into the UAE.
UAE authorities added that travel protocols and guidelines will be updated according to covid-related developments.
Meanwhile, Dubai's flagship carrier Emirates took to Twitter, stating that it expects India - Dubai flights to resume from July 7 and its website has displayed seat availability for booking from the same date.
"We're expecting to resume our flights from India to Dubai from 7th of July 2021. We're waiting for the exact travel protocols and relevant permits from the government authorities. We hope to have more details soon," the airline's tweet said.
Moreover, the UAE has been cautioning against the new mutant strains of Covid-19, which poses a high risk for society, especially unvaccinated people, with the Beta variant on loose in the country. The official spokesperson of the UAE health sector, Dr Farida Al Hosani, said during the weekly Covid-19 briefing on Sunday that the Beta variant was the cause of 39.2 per cent of the total infections, followed by Delta accounting for 33.9 per cent of infections, and Alpha with 11.3 per cent.