Expats and residents in the UAE urged to curb travel out of the country amid COVID-19 spread

Expats and residents in the Middle East who are planning to travel out of the country have been asked by the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), to curb their travel plans. 

In a statement, MoHAP has urged citizens and residents to avoid traveling abroad due to the spread of COVID-19 in multiple countries and stated that people entering the UAE will have to undergo medical check-ups at the airport.

It further added that those who travel may face preventative measures upon their return to the UAE – at the discretion of competent authorities – including reporting to a medical facility, and a 14-day home quarantine.

Enhanced screening measures have already been put in place for travellers tering the UAE from high-risk countries, including a swab test and health questionnaire. These measures do not apply to transit passengers. 

Photo Courtesy: Twitter
Photo Courtesy: Twitter

These additional measures will add 2-3 hours to the travellers’ journey time. Passengers would be contacted thereafter, only if any further intervention, reporting to a medical facility or self-quarantining is needed.

Those who test positive for the virus will be transferred to a designated health facility for treatment and quarantine to ensure their safety and to avoid contact with others, the statement added.

It also indicated that students and workers at educational facilities who arrive from overseas will undergo necessary medical exams and will be quarantined for a period of 14 days, if found necessary, to ensure that they are free of the disease.

The UAE, which serves as a regional base for many international companies and is home to Emirates, has already witnessed a sharp plunge in air traffic due to the novel coronavirus.