Abu Dhabi residents who want to travel abroad will be allowed to do so from today (Tuesday June 23).
Since March, the UAE has not welcomed any international visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the only people who live in the country that could return were travelling Emiratis. Even then, special repatriation flights had to be arranged.
There are many expat residents of the UAE who have not been able to return. A system to apply for permission to return was set up, but due to the numbers (around 200,000 people), not all have made their way back yet.
Traditionally, this would be the time when many residents would be looking to book either holidays abroad for summer or a longer stay back in their home countries.
Abu Dhabi Airport has introduced a number of measures and Etihad has introduced a self-assessment section on its website.
Here's the travel situation as it stands at the time of writing. Keep an eye on www.timeoutabudhabi.com/travel for updates.
If you are a UAE resident and are abroad
You must apply for permission to return to the Emirates via the Federal Authority for Citizenship and Identity website here.
You will only be able to book flights back to the UAE after you have received permission.
The UAE government has said requests will be processed within 48 hours
If you want to travel outside of the UAE
Dr Saif Dhaheri, spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), said travel will be allowed to once more from June 23.
Initially it was said that destination countries would be split into three categories of risk, though no official list was released. Since then, it appears travel to all countries that allow visitors will be allowed, subject to following some guidelines. They are:
All residents must submit a request via the Federal Authority for Citizenship and Identity’s website.
You must register for the Twajudi service.
Travellers must submit an ‘individual health accountability form,’ which includes an agreement to follwo any quarantine rules on return and that they won't travel to anywhere other than the countries they have applied to.
NCEMA said all travellers need to have a COVID-19 test done before they fly to show the results to the destination country.
You must have international medical insurance covering your destination.
Face masks and gloves must be used in the airport, and social distancing must be observed.
Can everyone travel?
Those above the age of 70 cannot travel out of the country. Likewise anyone who has tested positive for COVID_19 will not be allowed, nor will anyone who is suspected of having coronavirus.
What happens when you return?
Everyone must wear face masks and download the Al Hosn app. Those with COVID-19 symptoms must be tested within 14 days. Everyone must follow whatever the UAE's quarantine rules are at the time of landing.