Current Situation in Middle East country states & GCC #2
Update Status: 15.04.2020 – 16:00 CET”
The number of Corona positive confirmed cases in the region still rising as in the table below triggering intensive epidemiological efforts to discover the sources of infected cases.
Ministries of health called on all people who have tested positive for COVID-19, those who suspect themselves to be carrying the virus, quarantined persons and those who have come into contact with confirmed cases to commit to the Health Ministry’s regulations and call local emergency number for any help. Anyone who conceals information about suspected infections will be held legally accountable.
Governments are discussing important issues related to the continuity of education at schools and universities, final exams and work mechanisms during the holy month of Ramadan, as well as compensation of salaries.
Governments are also currently considering issues related to the gradual resumption of work in productive and service sectors after implementing precautionary measures to guarantee the health and safety of citizens.
5th April: On 2 April the UAE Government announced its decision to renew for a further two weeks the suspension of entry of all UAE Residents who are currently abroad. This period could be extended. Thousands of passengers from different countries who wish to go back home are currently in the UAE. Earlier this week Emirates Airlines received approvals to commence special flights from April 6 from Dubai to five European cities of London, Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels and Zurich, with four flights a week to London Heathrow, and 3 flights a week to the other cities. Emirates Airlines resumed its special flights after suspension, with the first flight taking off from Dubai International on Monday morning and to Frankfurt.
19th April: Authorities have advised that the public should remain at home unless they need to buy food, basic essentials or medicine, and maintain social distancing when doing so. Since 6 April Dubai residents must apply for a permit if they need to leave their homes for essential purposes (such as for food, medicine or medical assistance). All schools in the UAE are now closed for the remainder of this academic year. Many events have been cancelled. The UAE has suspended entry of valid visa holders who are currently outside the UAE. This includes holders of valid resident visas. The UAE has also suspended the issuance of new visas, including visas on arrival.
9th April: Travelling to and from Saudi Arabia suspending all international flights. They imposed soft curfew to few cities including Mecca, Jeddah, and Mecca. Situation did not improve, and number of cases increased leading to suspension of domestic flights within Saudi Arabia for a period of 14 days, starting from 06:00 on Saturday, 21 March 2020 and extending curfew from 3pm to 8am to all cities.
Umrah visa has been suspended till after Ramadan. Saudi Authorities is also studying the option of cancelling Hajj season for 2020. This yet to be confirmed.
15th April: There is also a temporary suspension on entry and prayer in the outer courtyards of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Medina.
9th April: Commercial flights in and out of Jordan are suspended and all land and sea borders are closed. The Government of Jordan has confirmed that these measures will remain in place until 27 April, and there are strong indications that the flight suspension and border closures will continue beyond this date. Earlier this week, Royal Jordanian sent flights to collect nationals from common destinations, including Dubai, US, UK. This exercise will continue till Ramadan on interval basis according to number of nationals claimed assistance. They aim to unlock restriction from the 27th of April
15th April: There is no movement by private vehicle without official authorization. Under current measures you can leave your accommodation between 1000 and 1800 hours for essential purposes only (for example, to visit a grocery store or pharmacy). You must ensure that you have returned to your accommodation by 18.00. Only those aged 16 – 60 years can visit local shops on foot. Small grocery shops and pharmacies are open outside curfew hours between 1000 and 1800 hours.
9th April: The Omani government announced that from 18 March, the following places would be closed across Oman: mosques and other places of worship; events and conferences; all tourist sites; all shops in shopping malls; souqs and other traditional markets; restaurants and cafes (including in hotels) except for takeaway/delivery; gyms, spas and hairdressers. Traveling is restricted to and from the country. Oman announced full curfew for two weeks starting the 10th April till the 22nd April.
15th April: The Royal Oman Police announced that residents of Oman whose visas will expire can renew their visas online. This includes residents currently in Oman and those stuck outside of Oman due to the travel restrictions.
9th April: From the evening of 16 March until further notice, no international passengers – including those with a residence permit – will be allowed to enter Qatar. Transit passengers travelling on to another destination will still be able to transfer through Qatar, and some flights continue to operate if restrictions on destinations and people can exit the country.
15th April: Public transport – including the metro and bus services – has been suspended around the country. Qatar has prohibited all social gatherings, postponed sporting and public events, and closed all public venues and shops, apart from supermarkets, garages and pharmacies. Restaurants and cafes are either closed or only allowing take away orders. The authorities are deploying mobile patrols and setting up checkpoints to prevent social gatherings and anyone violating this may be detained and prosecuted.
9th April: The Kuwait Government are no longer allowing non-Kuwaitis to enter Kuwait. Non-Kuwaitis arriving on flights to Kuwait will be required to board the next plane out of Kuwait, until further notice.
Land borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia have closed, and other countries may monitor travelers from Kuwait.
15th April: Since April 11, Kuwait International Airport has re-opened only to allow airlines to operate outbound flights. A curfew from 5:00pm until 6:00am remains in effect until further notice. People who are found in violation of the curfew order will be imprisoned for up to three years and fined 10,000 KD. Foreign nationals found in violation of the curfew order also risk deportation.
9th April: Bahrain authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus, including the closure of shops (excluding food stores, pharmacies and banks), schools, universities and limiting gatherings, as well as enhanced entry and transit restrictions at airports and entry points, and the requirement of all arrivals into Bahrain to be tested and self-isolate for 14 days including those without symptoms.
15th April: Entry to Bahrain is restricted to Bahraini citizens, residents, and some other categories. All other passengers will be denied entry. Transit and transfer passengers are permitted to use Bahrain International Airport.
9th April: Egyptian authorities imposed mandatory quarantine for visitors who test positive for coronavirus in a government isolation hospital, potentially in a remote location. Access for family members could be heavily restricted or impossible.
The Egyptian response to the coronavirus is evolving, local measures may change, and new restrictions be introduced at short notice and without warning. There are currently restrictions in place including an overnight curfew.
Travelling to and from Egypt is restricted with all airports closed, except for private jets and charters to outside Egypt.
15th April: The Government announced the extension of the nationwide curfew for two weeks, until April 23. The curfew will now begin an hour later, at 8:00 pm, and go until 6:00 am. The Government also announced the suspension of international air passenger arrivals will continue, until April 23.
Article by: Jamil Juma, Regional Manager MENA & CIS email@example.com
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