Can’t wait to travel? Here’s what you need to know with Covid-19 restrictions

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As our social media feeds start to slowly fill up with holiday pictures from our friends and families and a semblance of normalcy begins to re-enter our lives after the Corona lockdowns, that travel itch comes crawling.  Fantasies about exotic beach locations, delicious gelato eating walks in picturesque, meandering, cobblestone, streets, and green pastures as far as the eye could see take hold of us and bring on a renewed enthusiasm for travel.  We slowly start warming up to the idea of getting on a flight again, even with a mask.  But then a series of overwhelming questions immediately follow as we sort through all the endless new rules and regulations surrounding travel.  Where can I go? How do I come back?  How many PCR tests do I need? Can I really keep a mask on for that many hours?

Having recently ventured into the big unknown and gotten on an international flight,  I can assure you things just might be simpler and more manageable than you actually think.  The key is to be well prepared and below I’ve outlined all the steps on how to do exactly that.

Travel Procedures for all UAE Citizens & Residents:

  • Travel Gear – You will be required to wear a mask at all times during your journey through the UAE’s airports and on flight.  You can go the extra mile and wear a face shield and plastic gloves for an added safety measure.
  • ReEntry Permits –  Dubai residents need General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) approval to come back into the country. You can apply for the permit before you travel through the authority’s website and it’s a relatively quick and painless process. For those residing in any of the other emirates you no longer need the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) approval to come back.
  • Destination Requirements – Check your destination for their specific entry requirements.  Some countries are requiring valid negative COVID-19 PCR certificates, some countries are enforcing 14 day quarantines on arrival, and other countries still have their borders restricted allowing only citizens, 1st degree family members, and those with emergency cases to visit.  If in doubt it’s best to check with the embassy of your destination for the most recent travel advisory information.
  • PCR Tests – The UAE requires that all passengers traveling to or through the country have a printed copy of a negative Covid-19 PCR certificate to be accepted on the flight.  The certificate must be for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test taken a maximum of 96 hours before departure. Depending on your departure country you may be required to take another COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in the UAE airports.  If you take a test at the airport, you must remain in your residence until you receive the test result which takes up to 24 hours to be processed.  If the test result is positive, you will be required to undergo isolation and follow the Dubai Health Authority guidelines.
  • Covid-19 Travel Insurance – Some countries have entry requirements which ask that you have international health insurance that covers COVID-19.  Furthermore at times like this travel insurance is more important than ever as it allows you to enjoy your vacation hassle and worry free knowing you have a trusted plan that guarantees you proper medical coverage for COVID-19 at your destination of choice.

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