COVID-19: UAE suspends flights from India starting April 25

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Dubai: The General Civil Aviation Authority and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority suspended all flights from India, except transit flights, they announced on Thursday.

Passengers from India have been temporarily barred from travelling to the UAE with effect from Sunday, April 25, sources said on Thursday.

The travel ban, which comes into effect from 11.59pm on Saturday, April 24, is subject to review after 10 days.

Passengers who have transited through India in the last 14 days are also not permitted to board from any other point to the UAE, added the source.

UAE citizens, diplomatic passport holders and official delegations are exempted from the above conditions, it said.

However, departure flights will continue to operate, it added.

Responding to the announcement, Indian Ambassdor to the UAE Pavan Kapoor told Gulf News: “We respect the decision of the UAE Government. We will continue to work with them closely in the area of healthcare, including on dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

Anil Punjabi, chairman, Eastern Region, Travel Agents’ Federation of India said travel agents in India received the notification from Emirates.

“The travel and tourism sector in India have already been hit hard by the pandemic. Further flight suspensions are an additional blow,” Punjabi said.

The UAE is the latest country to curb travel from India in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.

The UK on Monday imposed its strictest travel curbs on India after an explosion of coronavirus cases there, hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called off a trip to New Delhi.

On Wednesday, Oman announced it will bar entry to arrivals from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh starting April 24, as part of measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The entry ban for passengers from India to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait continues.

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