Coronavirus continues to spread around the globe at an alarming rate. There are currently 341,365 cases around the world, according to the figures at the time of writing. Compared to a huge number of other counties, the UAE has relatively few cases.
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A total of 153 cases have been reported in the UAE so far.
However, Dubai and the other emirates are taking no risks.
The country has implemented a series of increasingly stricter measures to limit the spread of coronavirus.
The FCO has now updated its travel advice to Dubai and the UAE.
This follows the news that airlines are cancelling huge swathes of flights to the UAE.
“There is now a reduced airline service to and from the UAE and it may be completely suspended at short notice,” said the FCO.
“We know that some airlines have already cancelled all flights to and from the UAE and Emirates Airlines have confirmed that they have cut back on their global routes.
“If you are in the UAE, and it is essential that you return to the UK, you should consider urgently contacting your airline or tour operator and arrange to leave as soon as possible.”
Yesterday, Emirates announced it plans to suspend “most passenger operations” by March 25.
The airline said in a statement: “Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Emirates and dnata have been adapting operations in line with regulatory directives as well as travel demand.
“The airline has aimed to maintain passenger flights for as long as feasible to help travellers return home amidst an increasing number of travel bans, restrictions, and country lockdowns across the world.
“It continues to maintain vital international air cargo links for economies and communities, deploying its fleet of 777 freighters for the transport of essential goods including medical supplies across the world.
“With many of its airline customers dramatically reducing flights or ceasing services altogether, dnata has also significantly reduced its operations, including temporarily shutting some offices across its international network.”
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Emirates added: “Having received requests from governments and customers to support the repatriation of travellers, Emirates will continue to operate passenger and cargo flights to the following countries and territories until further notice, as long as borders remain open, and there is demand: the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, USA, and Canada.
“The situation remains dynamic, and travellers can check flight status on emirates.com.”
The UAE also has very tough rules on who can and cannot now enter the country.
“Local restrictions mean that only UAE citizens are currently allowed to return to UAE,” explained the FCO.
“With effect from 19 March only UAE Citizens are allowed to enter the UAE.
“All UAE Residents who are abroad will not be allowed to re-enter the UAE for a period of at least two weeks. This period could be extended. Please contact your nearest UAE Embassy for further advice.
“The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) has provided a hotline for holders of valid UAE Residence visas who wish to return to the UAE: +971 (0)9 208 3344.
“Visitors are not allowed to enter the UAE until further notice.
“If you are transiting through a UAE airport to another destination please check with your carrier before travelling.”
Yesterday, authorities announced that all beaches in Dubai will be closed until further notice to slow the spread of COVID-19.
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