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25 Apr 2020 | 04:46 PM UTC

UAE: Etihad Airways extends suspension of commercial operations through May 16 /update 30

United Arab Emirates News Alert

Etihad Airways extends suspension of commercial operations through May 16 due to COVID-19; confirm flight itineraries

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/24/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/24/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Dubai). COUNTRY/REGION United Arab Emirates

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On Saturday, April 25, Etihad Airways announced that it has extended the cancelation of all flights through Thursday, May 16, due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The airline was expected to resume operations on May 1. Until May 15, Etihad will continue to operate a limited number of repatriation flights, after which it will resume services on a reduced schedule.

Abu Dhabi authorities announced that public bus services will resume from 06:00 (local time) on Saturday, April 25, following a public sterilization campaign amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Officials in the emirate also said that it was consulting on whether to reopen shopping malls on the condition that they only operate at a 30 percent capacity and uphold necessary health measures.

Emirati authorities announced that a nationwide nighttime curfew will be adjusted during the month of Ramadan, which began on Thursday, April 23, and will last until late May, likely between Saturday, May 23, and Sunday, May 24. During this period, a curfew will be in effect from 22:00 to 06:00. The curfew previously began at 20:00 daily. The measures will also apply to Dubai, which has been under a 24-hour curfew. As of Thursday, cafes and restaurants in Dubai have been permitted to resume operations, and shopping malls are now allowed to open from 12:00 to 22:00 with a maximum capacity of 30 percent. Additionally, officials in Dubai announced that public transportation in the emirate will resume as of Sunday, April 26.

On Saturday, April 18, UAE authorities announced that individuals who share medical information regarding COVID-19 that contradicts official statements may face a fine of USD 5500. The measure applies to any individual who publishes, republishes, or circulates medical information or guidance deemed to be false, misleading, or contradictory to official advice.

Under lockdown regulations, members of the public who go out for walks, cycle, or drive for essential reasons such as purchasing food or medicine must apply for a permit at this website. Only one family member will be permitted to go out at any one time during the ongoing sanitation program, and those leaving their homes are to wear masks, gloves, and respect social distancing advice. Those working in vital sectors will be exempted from the restrictions.

To date, there have been 9281 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country and 64 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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