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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) joins the list of mayor countries to lift its travel restrictions on southern african countries due to COVID-19 Omicron variant contagion.
The United Arab Emirates announced yesterday, that as of Januray 29, it will be fully lifting its travel ban on 12 southern african countries. This ban was implemented by many countries as of November of 2021 in an attempt to curb contagion of the then new COVID-19 Omicron variant.
The UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) stated that: “From January 29, entry into the UAE for arrivals from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, the Republic of South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe is allowed again.”
Other mayor blocks that have now lifted the travel restrictions for these African nations include the United States and recently the European Union – one of the first blocks to impose the travel ban over the Omicron variant.
More than 30 countries imposed a travel ban on southern african countries, due to the mass hysteria prompted by western governments and mayor international media outlets over the new Omicron variant.
The United Arab Emirates has lifted its travel ban on South Africa and four other African countries. These include Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Uganda and Angola. #Today#DStv403pic.twitter.com/oIaMzKCoeU
The imposition of these travel bans was widely critiqued by the African Union (AU) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), and especially the Republic of South Africa, which was the first country to detect and raise the alarm on the new variant, however, it is thought not be the place of origin of the variant.
The origin of the variant is still unknown, the WHO recently formed the Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO), which met in January to discuss Omicron’s origins.
The SAGO group is expected to release a report in early February, 2022.
In the meantime, the UAE has implemented conditions for entry of passengers from these unbanned African countries. UAE authorities said that those travelling from African countries will have to obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test 48 hours prior to departure and a negative rapid-PCR test at the departure airport.
Passengers will have to pass another PCR test upon arrival in the Emirates. Those travelling from Uganda, Ghana and Rwanda will also need to take three PCR tests.
The UAE asked residents of African countries to refrain from travelling via flights to the UAE if they have COVID-19 symptoms.