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Coronavirus: UAE residents, citizens welcome news of travel from June 23

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on June 17, 2020 | Last updated on June 17, 2020 at 06.28 am
Residents, citizens, welcome, news, UAE, travel, June 23, coronavirus, Covid-19, select, destinations


Authorities on Monday announced that travel to select destinations will be allowed.

Residents and citizens have welcomed the news that UAE authorities will allow travel to select countries starting from June 23.

The joint statement made on Monday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC), the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management (NCEMA) said that the decision was reached following a thorough evaluation of the preventative measures currently in place and the recent positive developments as a result of it.

According to national news agency Wam, the categories of people allowed to travel along with the approved destinations will be announced at a later date.

The statement said guidelines and procedures for travellers will be also be announced later. These must be adhered to by both UAE citizens and residents before they travel, during their stay overseas and also upon their return to the UAE.

Khaleej Times spoke to a few residents here, who expressed their eagerness to travel abroad as and when travel restrictions are relaxed to select destinations.

Ambarish Jethwani, CEO, Billion Bricks, Dubai said: "The global crisis we are in the midst of right now will take a few months to dissipate. Since I haven't seen my family in India for a while, I would like to visit them.

"I am also associated with a few NGOs in India too like the UAE and my visit would enable me to personally give some of my assistance there. We can't afford to behave cavalierly when the deadly virus is still at large in many parts of the world."

Russian expat and homemaker, Valeriya Svalova, says: "I so want to travel to my home country in Russia. I am pregnant and I want to give birth there.

"It's getting warmer here, so every year for summer just as we travel, I want to go home this year as well. It's like an annual ritual for me. But I am not sure about which destinations are open for travelling, so only then will I be able to make concrete plans."

Canadian expat and stay-at-home mother, Rohini Caesar, says: "My husband, my kids and I were thinking of taking a mini vacation this year. But as countries and cities allowed for travel are not specified, we are still unsure about our destination.

"We would prefer to go to an island or say a place like Turkmenistan or Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan. We would want to choose a country that's sparsely populated and, depending on the number of cases that the country has seen, we'll take a decision.

Oyishi Lahiri, Product Manager at Here Technologies, says: "My husband and I want to travel for sure if UAE allows it. But we'll select a destination that involves not more than 4-5 hours of travelling time. That's because airports these days will also require passengers to come in for an early immigration due to safety protocols pertaining to Covid-19."

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