Dubai airport
Passengers wearing masks due to the coronavirus pandemic wait at ticketing for flights at Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3. Image Credit: AP

Abu Dhabi: Residents and citizens will be allowed to travel abroad only if they fall into certain categories and after they have obtained a permit for travel. Salem Al Zaabi, acting chief of state for emergency, crisis and disaster in the UAE, announced this on Wednesday evening. 

Travel for leisure and tourism will not be allowed at this stage, he said in the press briefing. The categories of travellers allowed will be those who travel for medical treatments, studies, business trips, diplomatic missions, humanitarian reasons and those who want to return to their home countries.

Who can travel and how

Each application needs supporting documents as well while the permit costs Dh50 as per the ICA website. Every citizen and resident who intends to travel must submit an application through the Federal Identity and Citizenship Authority website well before departure.

People with chronic illnesses and those over the age of 70 are discouraged from travelling unless the trip is for medical treatment.

Categories and documents needed are as follow:

1. Traveling for medical reasons

- Copy of ID card, residency and passport.

- Official documents supporting the application. Those who are traveling for treatment at the expense of the government must attach a copy of the medical committee’s approval. As for treatment requests on personal expense, attach an approved recommendation from a medical committee.

2. Students

- Copy of ID card, residency and passport

- A letter of no objection to travel issued by the Ministry of Education.

3. Business/work trips

- Copy of ID card, residency and passport.

- As for traveling for a job assignment, a letter must be attached from the employer proving work or training outside the country. Letter from Employer must prove the job assignment abroad, documents proving can contracts or invitations.

4. Humanitarian cases

- Copy of ID card, residency and passport.

- A certificate proving illness or death of the first degree relative.

Returning to UAE

With regard to the mechanism of returning to the country, authorities had announced guidelines earlier. As per those guidelines, residents should also apply for an entry permit before coming back to UAE, and obtain approval before booking return tickets.

On the flight travellers must fill out a 'Health Declaration' form before landing at the airport, and follow all the precautionary and regulatory procedures required upon arrival.  Passengers must also ensure that the Al Hosn mobile application is loaded and activated.

Upon return from travel, a PCR test is required at the airport followed by 14-day home quarantine. The quarantine will only be 7 days for returnees for low-risk countries.