UAE authorities suspended all flights arriving from Pakistan from Monday, June 29, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The restriction will be applied to transit flights from Pakistan. The decision comes following a spike in COVID-19 cases in Pakistan and the measure will remain in place until it is possible to test all travelers arriving from the country.
Authorities in the Emirate of Sharjah eased COVID-19 restrictions from Wednesday, June 24. Cinemas, auction houses, entertainment centers, valet services, and fitness facilities are permitted to open, provided they do not exceed 50 percent capacity and respect social distancing measures. The new measures in Sharjah came as authorities in the UAE ease restrictions in an attempt to restart the economy.
The Dubai government released a statement on Sunday, June 21, announcing that foreign travelers would be permitted to enter the emirate from July 7. Passenger flights have been suspended since March due to COVID-19. Those entering will either have to present a recent negative COVID-19 test or undergo a test on arrival at Dubai airports. Travelers will need to have international health insurance coverage and sign a health declaration form. The government also announced that those with residency visas would be able to enter from Monday, June 22, and that citizens and residents would be permitted to travel abroad from Tuesday, June 23, in line with the rest of the UAE. Local authorities have been gradually lifting COVID-19 restrictions in place in Dubai for several weeks. As of June 3, all shopping malls and private sector businesses in Dubai have been permitted to resume operations at full capacity, provided social distancing measures and other controls are met. Individuals are required to observe preventative measures, including wearing a face mask and maintain social distancing at all times in public and in workplaces.
Additionally, authorities in Abu Dhabi announced the easing of movement restrictions within the emirate from June 16. Citizens are able to leave the emirate freely without a permit, although one is needed to enter it.
As of Sunday, June 28, there have been 47,797 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 313 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in 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.