ABU DHABI, 26 April — After a big surge in COVID-19 cases in India, with a record number of more than 300,000 daily cases, UAE announced a flight ban and barred entry of travellers from India starting 25 April until 4 May.
According to the UAE ban, Indian nationals can still enter the UAE -even as transit passengers- if they stayed in an another country for the last 14 days before travelling.
Etihad Airlines said that the ban may be extended, while its flights to India will carry on, taking travellers from Abu Dhabi to India.
The airline said while the entry of travellers from India is banned, UAE nationals, diplomatic passport holders and official passport holders or those holding an official delegation letter will be exempted from the entry ban, and be subject to acceptance and quarantine measures.
Meanwhile, Emirates airlines said in a statement on its website that “Passengers who transited through India in the last 14 days will not be accepted to travel from any point to the UAE.”
Kuwait’s directorate general of civil aviation also announced a ban on all flights from India starting April 24 until further notice.
All passengers arriving from India either directly or via another country will be banned from entering unless they have spent at least 14 days out of India, it said in a statement on Twitter.
Saudi Arabia said that a halt to international flights will be lifted as of May 17, but will not apply to the countries with which travel is banned by a state committee tasked with tackling COVID-19 due to the outbreak of the virus, local media reported. The 20 countries on the ban list are Argentina, the UAE, France, Germany, the US, Indonesia, India, Japan, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, Brazil, Portugal, the UK, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Lebanon, and Egypt.
These GCC countries are only a few of a growing list of countries ordering bans on flights and travel from India, after the country lost control of COVID-19 infection with the second wave hitting with record numbers.
On 24 April, the country recorded 349,691 new cases with a 10 day average of 310,310 cases, while hundreds of areas are reporting a collapse in the healthcare system with the huge rise in COVID cases.
Source: Times of India/Gulf News/Agencies