Covid-19 test must for UAE citizens, residents before travelling abroad

Travel is allowed only for specific reasons

  
Dubai airports CEO speaks out on post-COVID-19 recovery plans. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Dubai airports CEO speaks out on post-COVID-19 recovery plans. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle. Image used for illustrative purpose.

UAE citizens and residents are required to take a Covid-19 test before travelling abroad, authorities announced on Wednesday.

Addressing a virtual briefing on Wednesday, Dr Seif Al Dhaheri, spokesperson for the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), said travellers must apply for a permit through the website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA).

Travel is allowed only for specific reasons. At this point, travel for leisure is not permitted, the official said.

According to the ICA website, the categories under which a travel permit can be applied for are as follows: Medical treatment, education, work, business, humanitarian reasons and Emiratis who reside abroad.

Travellers aged above 70 and those with chronic illnesses should not travel, the official stressed. "All countries are still assessing the situation, and we are following up to identify the destinations where travel is allowed," Dr Al Dhaheri added.

How to get the permit

According to the ICA website, all applications must be supported with relevant documents such as Emirates ID copy, residency permit copy, valid passport copy, and proof of the reason for departure.

The applicant must provide additional documents for each category.

  • For treatment: A copy of an official medical committee's approval (if the treatment is to be conducted at the state's expense) or a letter of recommendation to travel approved by a medical committee (if the treatment is to be carried out at the traveller's personal expense).
  • Education: A no-objection letter issued by the Ministry of Education.
  • Work: A letter from the employer proving that the applicant's work, training or assignment is to be done abroad.
  • Business: Businessmen seeking to travel must provide papers (such as contracts of commercial property) proving they have work abroad.
  • Humanitarian reasons: A certificate of illness or death for first-degree relatives
  • Emiratis residing abroad: They must provide either a copy of the marriage contract or proof of residence abroad.

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