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Fewer vehicles are seen on the streets of Dhaka after the government imposed restrictions on public movement. Image Credit: Reuters

Abu Dhabi: Bangladeshi expatriates who travel back home until April 28 must quarantine at an institutional facility, or fund their 14-day mandated quarantine at a hotel.

Speaking to Gulf News, Bangladeshi Ambassador to the UAE, Mohammad Abu Zafar, also urged expats to avoid travelling at the moment. “Under the latest announcements, the nation is in lockdown until April 28. It would be best to avoid travelling to Dhaka at this time,” the ambassador said.

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Bangladeshi Ambassador to the UAE, Mohammad Abu Zafar. Image Credit: Supplied

“If at all you must travel, then it is advised that you check with the airlines to confirm a 14-day booking for institutional quarantine at a government facility or have the funds for a hotel quarantine. These are special circumstances and we should all work to protect ourselves and the people back home,” he added.

Nationwide lockdown

Bangladesh issued a nationwide lockdown on April 7 to stem the tide of rising COVID-19 infections and tightened regulations a week later. It had recorded more than 7,200 new infections a day earlier, up from just about 292 new cases on February 7. The death rate has also risen from single digits in February to 112 fatalities on April 19.

As of now, the nationwide lockdown is expected to last until April 28, pending government review.

During the lockdown, travellers arriving at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport — the only airport in the country currently welcoming international passengers to Bangladesh — must quarantine institutionally or at a hotel, in addition to carrying a negative COVID-19 PCR test result before travel. Prior to the lockdown, travellers were allowed to quarantine at home.

Airline advisories

Airlines in the UAE have also issued advisories for passengers.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Bangladesh’s national carrier, earlier this week had released a list of 28 hotels where passengers can observe mandatory quarantine on arrival.

“Passengers are required to present a valid and confirmed hotel booking or a confirmed booking at a government-nominated institutional facility at the check-in counter to board the flight,” Air Arabia said in a travel update.

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Meanwhile, Emirates airline has suspended passenger flights to Bangladesh until April 21.

“In line with government directives, passenger flights to and from Bangladesh are suspended with effect from April 14, 2021, and until April 28, 2021. Customers travelling to and from Dhaka will not be accepted for travel,” the airline had announced on its website.