Flights between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates have been suspended since March 17 over disagreement relating to COVID-19 testing.
Announcing the new measures on Saturday, Head of the Committee HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the updated travel protocol was part of a regular process of revising and optimising precautionary measures based on the latest local, regional and international developments.
Under the new guidelines, travelers from Nigeria must present a negative test result for a PCR test taken 48 hours prior to departure at labs approved by the Nigerian government and the test certificate should carry a QR Code.
“Passengers must also undergo a PCR test on arrival in Dubai. Transit passengers should comply with entry protocols of final destinations,” the committee said.
The new protocol will also allow travellers from South Africa and India, who have received two doses of a UAE-approved vaccine, a negative result from a PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure and are ready to undergo a PCR test on arrival in Dubai.
However, the protocol for India passengers is more stringent. They must have valid residence visa and are required to undergo a rapid PCR test four hours prior to departure to Dubai.
“In addition, following arrival, passengers from India should undergo institutional quarantine until they receive their PCR test result, which is expected within 24 hours,” the statement added.
The UAE citizens and diplomats are exempted from all the above requirements.
Since the suspension of flights in March, many travellers have been left stranded and without adequate communication from authorities.
Some Nigerians living and working in the UAE who visited Nigeria before the impasse, have been unable to return to their jobs. Others have complained about their visas getting expired and called for a quick resolution to the situation.
Although the Nigerian government is yet to provide an update on the situation, it had announced in April that extensive deliberations had taken place and both parties had reached a compromise.