Covid Omicron variant: Step-by-step guide for UAE-US travel

New restrictions impact both US citizens and foreign visitors

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File photo
File photo

Waheed Abbas

Published: Sat 11 Dec 2021, 9:30 AM

Last updated: Sat 11 Dec 2021, 11:02 AM

The UAE and US are among the busiest air travel routes, thanks to the UAE’s two largest carriers Emirates and Etihad Airways’ extensive connectivity network.

In September, Emirates airline announced increased frequencies to a number of US destinations due to growth in demand.

Starting October, Emirates was operating 78 weekly flights to 12 destinations in the US with an increase in weekly flights scheduled for Boston, Dallas, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC. It has already restored pre-Covid-19 daily flight frequencies to Chicago, Los Angeles and on the routes connecting Athens-Newark and Milan-New York.

The UAE is home to a good number of US nationals who live and work in the Gulf country.


Following the outbreak of the coronavirus’ latest variant Omicron, US president Joe Biden’s administration has announced fresh restrictions on inbound international travellers to prevent the arrival of the new variant. These new restrictions impact both US citizens and foreign visitors.

Below is a step-by-step guide for travellers from UAE to the US:

  • Covid-19 test a day before the departure
  • Antigen, nucleic acid amplification tests (Naat), PCR tests are accepted
  • Foreign travellers must be vaccinated
  • Wearing masks is mandatory for all travellers at US airports
  • Masks mandatory for all passengers during flight
  • Upon arrival in the US, masks must be worn in trains, buses etc.
  • Unvaccinated citizens, permanent residents can enter but must have a negative PCR test taken a day before the flight
  • No Covid-19 test required upon landing in the US
  • These rules apply solely for air travel
  • Fully vaccinated passengers do not need to self quarantine after returning to the United States, unless required by a state or local jurisdiction

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