Covid-19: UAE holidaymakers set for summer travel as countries lift curbs


Dubai - From Switzerland to Thailand, countries are welcoming fully-vaccinated tourists.

Follow us on Google News-khaleejtimes

By Nandini Sircar

Published: Mon 28 Jun 2021, 5:52 PM

Last updated: Wed 30 Jun 2021, 2:04 PM

UAE residents have begun dusting their bags and finalising long-awaited travel plans, as countries lift travel curbs and welcome tourists.

Some popular tourist destinations are allowing entry to fully-vaccinated passengers, including those from the GCC, without having to quarantine, as they try resuming social and economic activities under safe measures.

Austria is the latest country to announce the opening of its borders for fully-vaccinated residents from the UAE for travel from July 1.

Long-time Dubai resident A. Nandi said: “We got to know of Austria opening up on Sunday. My wife and I were quite happy to hear this. We travelled to Austria in 2015, and both of us loved the place, especially the picturesque Salzkammergut near Salzburg, where we had stayed for nearly a week. In fact, just last week my wife and I were discussing that if Austria opens up, we’d like to visit Salzkammergut again. Even during normal times, such places are sparsely populated, so it’s a perfect destination to travel to, particularly, during Covid times.”

The Thailand cabinet has also approved a plan, called Phuket Sandbox, which allows vaccinated international visitors to roam the island without having to quarantine for 14 days.

UAE resident, Sai Bhagwat who has booked her family’s tickets for Phuket, for the upcoming Eid holidays, says: “We wanted a beach destination, especially because we have two boys who are 9 and 5. It’s always fun for children when you are living close to the sea. We can move about in Phuket, but are not allowed to go to other islands or territories. Besides, Emirates has a direct flight from here to Phuket and I am grateful to the UAE government for its robust vaccination drive as a greater number of nations are allowing UAE citizens and residents to enter their country. Needless to say, we will adhere to all Covid-19 safety protocols and keep a track of the fast-changing situations ahead of our travel dates.”

Anu Chandhok has made travel plans to Armenia with another friend’s family. She says all members are fully vaccinated, including her 16-year old son.

“Armenia is allowing tourist entry, and just the other day we booked flydubai tickets. It’s a nine-day plan and we are still finalising the itinerary. We will be leaving for Yerevan a few days before Eid. We will stay there for a couple of days and then head to some other destinations within the country. We’ll either book domestic flights to reach these destinations, or travel by road, ”said Chandok.

“Although my family is fully-vaccinated, taking precautionary measures is an individual responsibility. Whether tourists are allowed to roam with or without masks is immaterial. I feel we should take necessary measures to ensure we remain safe. Having said that, I also feel there is no need to be too scared or to panic, as we have to realise that Covid-19 is a part of our lives now and we have to live with this new normal. Life has to move on.”

More news from