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UAE Lifts Flight Restrictions On Nigeria, 11 Other African Countries

Olowasina Phillip

Barring any last-minute change in plans, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities will this Saturday lift restriction on flights arriving from Nigeria and 11 other African nations.

The UAE authorities said flight arrivals can resume from countries such as Botswana, Congo Republic, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Namibia.

Others are Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, the authorities said in a post on Twitter.

The country’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) said it would be lifting the ban initially imposed as part of measures to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The UAE had last December issued a travel restriction on passenger flights from Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

NCEMA and the General Civil Aviation Authority said the directive, which took effect December 25, was due to concerns related to the spread of the omicron COVID-19 variant.

“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,” the statement had said.

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 2.30pm on Saturday, NCEMA said.

The UAE had on January 16 announced the resumption of flight operations to and from Ghana, Guinea, Angola, Ivory Coast and Uganda.

The UAE had, in December, indefinitely suspended the entry of travelers from Nigeria and some selected African countries over the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

It later extended the flight ban to other countries including Ghana, Angola, Guinea, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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