By Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
The United Arab Emirates has said the restriction on flights arriving from Nigeria and 11 other African nations will be lifted on Saturday, January 29.
UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), which said it was lifting the ban initially imposed as part of measures to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, also said flight arrivals can resume from countries like Botswana, Congo Republic, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
‘The excluded categories should present a negative COVID-19 test obtained within 48 hours of departure and a Rapid-PCR test at the airport within six hours of departure whenever possible and another PCR test at the airport upon arrival to UAE,’ NCEMA said.
On Wednesday, January 26, NCEMA also announced that entry procedures have been updated for flights originating from Ghana, Rwanda and Uganda. Passengers are required to take a PCR test 48 hours before departure, test where possible at the departure airport, test on arrival and adhere to all precautionary measures when visiting the UAE. The new rules come into effect by 2:30 pm on Saturday.
The UAE’s NCEMA and GCAA announced last December that travellers from Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia were restricted from entering the country from Saturday, December 25 citing a surge in the Omicron variant.