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This morning the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced some drastic measures to battle COVID-19. To my knowledge, they may be the first country to not only to ban people from entering the country, they also took it a step further and banned people from leaving the country.
That’s right, locals can’t even travel outside the country, even if they have no plans to return in the coming weeks (or months).
They have also banned the entry of valid visa holding residents (aka foreigners that make the country function) from arriving and they have a massive foreign population.
Those who are outside the UAE are advised to contact the UAE diplomatic missions in their respective host countries for all necessary support which I don’t completely understand since they are still not accepting people into the country.
They have also temporarily suspended the issuance of all entry visas, including those for countries eligible for visa issuance on arrival (i.e. United States). The only exception is diplomatic passports.
In addition to all of the above, the UAE has also banned all scheduled passenger flights to and from the following countries until further notice:
- Islamic Republic of Iran
- Italy (except for Rome)
- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- People’s Republic of China (except for Beijing)
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR EMIRATES?
Emirates has long been a primary airline that serves to connect passengers, and it seems like that will continue but with a reduced schedule. During this time, they’re very much welcoming connecting passengers, but not serving those with the UAE as their origin or final destination.
The UAE is taking among the strongest measures I’ve seen of any country when it comes to restricting movement into & out of the country. In addition to closing off to visitors, all visa holding residents aren’t allowed to return, and UAE nationals aren’t allowed to leave.
Dubai is supposed to host Expo 2020, intended to kick off in October. I’m sure they’re very motivated to get this under control before then.
I’m curious…if you were to be “stuck” in a country, what country would you prefer the most?