Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Relief for Malayali expats as UAE to ease travel curbs from Thursday

Kochi: In a relief to thousands of expatriates stranded in Kerala, the UAE has decided to ease travel restrictions from six countries, including India, on its flight ban list. The UAE government said all vaccinated individuals, as well as unvaccinated people in certain job categories, can seek permission to return from August 5. 

Reports reaching here said fliers should have a valid UAE residency and proof of having received both the Covid doses in the Emirates. At least 14 days should have passed after receiving the second vaccine dose, the Gulf-based media outlets reported. Apart from India, the relaxations will apply to people from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda, The National newspaper reported quoting state news agency Wam.

While nearly 11 lakh expatriate Keralites have returned to the state from the Gulf countries since the outbreak of Covid due to various reasons, including job losses, it is estimated that over a lakh people may be looking to go back to join work, families etc.  There are also exemptions for travel for non-vaccinated people, and these include medical workers, teachers at schools and universities in the Emirates, students, employees who work for the federal or the local government agencies, it said. 

When contacted, spokesman for Air India Express said the airline company was waiting for official communication in this regard. A spokesperson for Indigo said the situation is “evolving” and the company could finalise details only after getting a clear picture. A spokesman for Emirates said the airline company was aware of the development but a statement on the resumption of flights from India to the UAE will be issued only after more details emerge.

04/08/21 New Indian Express

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