COVID-19 MENA Update
17.06.2020 - 23:00 CET
- Middle East and GCC states are recovering at various rates, with relatively low fatalities in comparison to other countries. Attention is now shifting to dealing with the socioeconomic impact of months of lockdown.
- Though quarantine is not being mandated in some countries, nearly every ministry of health have introduced additional health screening procedures at their ports of entry. Travelers should allow extra time for such possible screenings, and those exhibiting signs of sickness should be prepared for possible quarantine at their own cost.
United Arab Emirates
UAE has taken a new step towards the gradual return to normal life by authorizing some of the country's airports to transport and transfer passengers (transit flights) from international airports.
The decision to suspend passenger flights to and from the country is still in effect, and only limited flights will be temporarily allowed for the purpose of evacuating residents and visitors who wish to leave the country and return to their country.
The transit flights decision includes the airports of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah International, and through national carriers such as Etihad Airways, Emirates Airlines, flydubai and Air Arabia.
Starting June 23, residents will be allowed to travel abroad to certain destinations. Guidelines to be announced soon by Ministry of Foreign Affairs. .
Saudi Arabia shortened curfew, allowed the resumption of some economic activities, allowed performing group prayers in mosques, the return of public and private employees to work from their offices, the resumption of dine-in services in restaurants and cafes, the operation of domestic flights among other some countries in the region.
Meanwhile for the major event of “Hajj” when kingdom receives more than 2 million visitors during the period of one month, Saudi Arabia is expected to scale back or call off this year's hajj pilgrimage for the first time in its modern history, as number of coronavirus cases still rising.
Travel outside Qatar is not allowed for nationals of Qatar until further notice.
Essential flights to and from Doha International Airport are permitted. Arriving passengers will be subject to a mandatory hotel quarantine for two weeks, at their own expense. Starting August 1, low-risk inbound flights will be allowed for priority passengers, including foreign nationals with a residence permit for Qatar. From September 1, inbound flights will be expanded based on the recommendation by the Ministry Health.
Jordan's strict lockdown measures have been effective in containing the spread of COVID-19 in the country with less than 1,000 confirmed cases and nine reported deaths from the disease.
Tourists will need health certificates to confirm they are COVID-19-free to enter Jordan hoping this will help attract travelers who are coming from low infected countries and are confident with their health status.
Oman has reopened government departments & businesses with 50% limited capacity of staff. Main government offices are operative; however, local branches remain closed.
Meanwhile the gov, suspended the issuance of all out-of-country visas.
Governmental departments are currently closed but have announced a five-phased plan to lift restrictions. Each phase will last for three weeks. The first phase began May 31 and the second phase will begin on June 21. It is expected that government offices will re-open during the second phase, at 30% capacity.
Enforced quarantine for all travellers entering Bahrain at their residence or a government facility, including nationals & foreign residents
Upon departure from Bahrain, travelers must present a clearance certificate showing that they have undergone a COVID-19 test prior to departure.
Border crossing Causeway linking Bahrain with Saudi Arabia, remains closed.
Egypt announced would allow foreign flights and tourists back into coastal areas starting 1st July.
Travelers from countries with high rates of coronavirus infections, need to be tested before coming to Egypt.
Article by: Jamil Juma, Regional Manager MENA & CIS email@example.com
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