Wednesday, August 18, 2021

UAE flights: Some travellers who took vaccines abroad get ICA, GDRFA approval

Some travellers with Covid-19 vaccination certificates from restricted countries are receiving pre-travel approvals from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) to fly to the UAE, Khaleej Times has learnt.

Last week, leading UAE and foreign carriers confirmed residence visa holders from restricted countries, including India and Pakistan, can travel into the country as long as they have approval from the ICA and GDRFA, in addition to negative Covid-19 test results.

Since then, scores of travellers, including those from India and Pakistan, who did not receive their vaccination doses in the UAE, have also been able to fly into the Emirates upon receiving pre-travel nods.

Dubai resident Muzaffar Ahmed (name changed on request) had gone to India on his annual leave on April 2. “I was supposed to return after a month-and-a-half-long holiday. I lost three months’ pay during the time I was stuck in Lucknow.”

Ahmed took the Covishield vaccine during his time in India, due to which, he was able to return as soon as travel restrictions were lifted.

He finally returned to his home in Dubai on Tuesday, August 17. “I applied for the GDRFA approval and got it within 45 to 50 minutes. I flew into Dubai from Lucknow International Airport and I was on the first flight from the city to Dubai after the airport launched an on-site rapid PCR testing facility,” he explained.

18/08/21 Dhanusha Gokulan/Khaleej Times/Zawya

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