JULY 1, 2020 — All UAE residents with valid residency visas currently out of country should test negative for COVID-19 before they can be permitted to return to the country, according to new rules to be implemented by the UAE government. The COVID-19 test should be taken within 72 hours prior to returning to the country. The said requirement is effective July 1.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) announced this new rule to support the country’s efforts in easing travel restrictions soon.
The COVID-19 test must be administered by an approved lab as listed in the ICA’s website at SmartService.ica.gov.ae. At the moment, these approved laboratories are located in 106 cities in 17 countries, with this number expected to increase to 150 labs in 31 countries as testing initiatives are rolled out. On the other hand, UAE visa-holders returning from countries with no approved testing labs shall be screened for coronavirus.
In addition to fulfilling the requirement of a negative coronavirus test result, returning UAE residents are required to undergo 14-day quarantine at home or in an approved quarantine facility. They will also bear all testing and quarantine costs if their private accommodation does not meet the current required standards. Employers of foreign nationals with UAE visas are also mandated to bear testing and quarantine expenses as required.
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