August 03, (THEWILL) – The United Arab Emirates, UAE, will on Thursday lift a ban on transit flights from Nigeria, India and Pakistan.
The decision to lift the subsisting flight ban on these countries was announced Tuesday by the National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority (NCEMA) in a post via its Twitter handle.
NCEMA said that passengers travelling from countries where flights had been banned would be able to transit through its airports from August 5 as long as they present a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to departure.
UAE, a major international travel hub, had banned passengers from many South Asian and African states from travelling through its airports this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Final destination approval would also have to be provided, the authority said, adding that UAE departure airports would arrange separate lounges for transiting passengers.
The transit ban had also included Nepal, Uganda, Nigeria and Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, in June this year, UAE had intensified its decision on flight ban to and from Nigeria, with effect from 21st June 2021.
Emirates, in its official website: emirates.com, stated then, that, “In line with government directives, passengers flights to and from Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) are suspended with immediate effect from 21 June, 2021 until further notice.”
The update said, “Customers travelling to and from Lagos and Abuja will not be accepted to travel. Customers who have been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days are not permitted to board from any other point to the UAE”.
“We regret that inconveniences caused, and affected customers should contact their booking agents or Emirates call centres for rebooking. Emirates remains committed to Nigeria, and we look forward to resuming passenger services when conditions allow.”
THEWILL recalls that Emirates Airlines had on February 1, 2021 directed that Nigerian travellers at the Lagos and Abuja airports must conduct rapid COVID-19 tests before departure.
Consequently, the Nigerian Government also banned Emirates flights into Nigeria.
The ban was however, lifted after the airline agreed to stop the rapid antigen tests.
Later, the Federal Government reintroduced the ban on March 15, saying the airline rescinded on the agreement.
On March 25, 2021, the UAE Embassy in Abuja announced new COVID-19 travel protocols for Nigeria as measures to curtail the spread of coronavirus in the country, stating that passengers who have been in or transited through South Africa or Nigeria in the last 14 days before travelling to Dubai were barred from entering Dubai.