Dhaka: The United Arab Emirates has extended its entry ban on passengers from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan until August 1.
As the country is slowly easing travel restrictions and allowing only a handful of travellers to enter under restrictions, the extension of a ban on these southeast Asian countries come as a blow to the travellers.
In a statement, UAE flag carrier Etihad confirmed that it has suspended flights from these South Asian countries until August 1. The extension applies to travellers from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
With the rules unchanged, only three types of travellers can now fly to the UAE. These are UAE citizens, diplomats on official duty, and holders of the golden residency visa. All non-nationals on any visa who have been in the banned countries in the last 14 days cannot enter the Gulf nation.
The news comes as a shock to many passengers stranded in South Asia following the ban. The UAE banned travellers from India on April 22 and added the other countries in mid-May, as these countries are witnessing the resurgence of the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus. Even though the cases have fallen to a fraction of Spring levels, the UAE is strict at maintaining the ban for now.
Generally, the only way to currently fly to the UAE is to spend 14-days in a non-banned country. Yet, options are limited even for vaccinated travellers.
Earlier, the ban was supposed to expire on July 15. This led to speculation that the UAE would resume flights, with airlines starting to sell tickets once again.
However, now, the UAE authorities have confirmed that the ban will remain effective until July 30.
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