Friday, April 23, 2021

UAE shuts doors to Indians in travel ban; Keralites' left with fewer work destinations in West Asia

Thiruvananthapuram: As foreign countries continue to shut doors in the wake of the outbreak of the deadly second wave of the Indian mutant Coronavirus, there are hardly two destinations left for Keralites in West Asia to fly out to for work as on Thursday.

In the latest development, UAE has decided to impose travel restrictions on flyers from India for the next 10 days, starting Saturday midnight. 

Though an official release is yet to be released by the authorities, the airline sources confirmed that flyers from India have been barred from travelling to the UAE with effect from Saturday midnight and added that the authorities will review the decision after 10 days.

UAE's recent travel ban will come as a severe blow to Keralites working in the country since the Emirates account for around 75-80 per cent of the overseas Indian diaspora in West Asia.

Though flights from India have been barred, departure flights from Dubai to India will continue as per schedule, according to airline sources.

A senior official from the Air India Express, the low cost arm of the national carrier, said "the UAE travel ban is almost equal to a lockdown for the airline as around 75 percent of the operations of the airline company were centered on UAE routes."

Already, there is an existing travel ban for those travelling from India to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, while Oman announced that they would bar entry to arrivals from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh starting April 24, as part of steps to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

23/04/21 New Indian Express

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