CAIRO – (Reuters) – United Arab Emirates authorities on Wednesday said residents and citizens were not yet allowed to travel abroad for tourism and leisure purposes and all travel abroad needed a permit, as part of restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of the new coronavirus.
A spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) said travel abroad is only allowed currently for study, medical treatment, diplomatic missions, business and residents who want to visit or return to their home countries.
“Essential travel is permitted … but will be assessed on a case by case basis according to risk levels,” Saif al-Dhaheri told a virtual news conference.
He said these were “indicative” guidelines set at a national level and local authorities would announce additional procedures.
The UAE said two weeks ago that citizens and residents would be permitted to travel abroad from June 23 under conditions that were to be announced.
Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE federation, has said it will allow foreign visitors to fly in from July 7, but the other emirates have not announced a similar measure.
The UAE halted all passenger flights in March and banned foreign citizens from entering the Gulf Arab state except those holding UAE residency, who required UAE government approval before returning.
Limited outbound repatriation flights have been operating to certain countries.
The UAE has recorded 49,069 cases of the new coronavirus and 316 deaths.
(Reporting by Alaa Swilam and Lisa Barrington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)