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CORONAVIRUS COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

This is information is current as of September 17, 2020

For all queries, we ask that you consult our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and you contact us using our Contact Us form

 

United Arab Emirates

What international travel measures have been announced by the UAE?

The UAE Government and the Government of Dubai have announced new international travel protocols that apply to citizens, residents, visitors and transit passengers.

We advise those planning to travel to consult official published guidelines, and to clarify requirements with your airline or travel provider. 

Information on travel to, from and through the UAE is available on Etihad Travel Updates and Emirates Travel Updates

 

How can UAE residents abroad return to the UAE?

The UAE authorities announced on 12 August 2020 that UAE residency visa holders abroad no longer require prior approval by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) to return to the UAE.

The ICA advises residents abroad to enter their details on the ICA portal to confirm their eligibility to return to the UAE, in accordance with their UAE residence visa validity.

Residents abroad with expired visas should contact their UAE sponsor to liaise with the immigration authorities.

Queries on approval to return to the UAE should be directed to the airline or travel provider, or the ICA.

Dubai residents

 

Dubai residents should refer to the guidelines published by the Government of Dubai on 23 June. Dubai residency visa holders must apply to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs for permission to return to the UAE. Any queries on permission to return to Dubai should be directed to the airline or the GDRFA.

 

Requirement for COVID testing prior to travel

On 23 July, the UAE Authorities announced new requirements for COVID-19 testing prior to travel to the UAE from all countries. 

https://covid19.ncema.gov.ae/en/News/Details/1393

All passengers flying to the UAE, including transit passengers, will be asked at check-in to produce a negative result from a COVID-19 test conducted in the previous 96 hours.

Passengers travelling from the UAE to EU, UK and other destinations must present a negative result from a Covid-19 test conducted within the previous 96 hours. 

We strongly urge all passengers to double-check the requirements for COVID testing with your airline prior to travel. 

Additional information is available on Etihad Travel Updates and Emirates Travel Updates

 

What measures are in place for those returning to the UAE?

Passengers arriving in the UAE will be required to go through thermal screening and may be tested for Covid-19. There will be a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days at home or in a designated facility. Those arriving in the emirate of Abu Dhabi may be required to wear a medically-approved tracking wristband for the duration of their quarantine. There are exemptions for those under 18, over 60 or suffering from a chronic disease. Further information is available on the Etihad Airlines website.

You should follow the directions of the local authorities on arrival in Abu Dhabi.

Dubai Residents

Residents returning to Dubai should adhere to the guidelines on travelling to Dubai from 23 June, and the travel requirements on the Emirates Airline website.

 

Can I transit through the UAE?

The UAE government has announced the resumption of transfer services between Europe, Australia and Asia through the UAE. Please see Emirates and Etihad websites or contact your travel provider for further information.

 

Can I visit the UAE?

The Irish Government is advising all Irish citizens against non-essential foreign travel.  Anyone returning to Ireland, except from Northern Ireland, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

Entry to the UAE is currently only permitted for UAE citizens and residency visa holders.

Visitors to Dubai

The Government of Dubai has announced that visitors can travel to Dubai from 7 July. Information as to what visitors need to do before they travel and what will happen on arrival in Dubai is available on the Visit Dubai website.

 

What restrictions have been put in place by the government in the United Arab Emirates?

The Abu Dhabi government announced a ban on entering and exiting the emirate and travelling between its regions (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra) from June 2. Travel between the regions of Abu Dhabi is permitted from 22 June, if you can meet the below requirements. 

The Abu Dhabi government announced that from 5 September entry to the emirate will be granted to those able to demonstrate receipt of a negative PCR Covid-19 test result OR a negative DPI laser test result within the previous 48 hours. Abu Dhabi residents and visitors who enter the emirate and stay for six consecutive days or more are required to undergo a PCR test on the 6th day after their arrival.

It is recommended that you pre-book your DPI laser test appointment in advance on a dedicated website or by using the SEHA app. 

It is mandatory to wear facemasks in public and to adhere to social distancing measures. 

You should monitor local media and comply with the directions of local authorities.

 

What flights are in place to leave the UAE?

The UAE and other airlines are operating flights to DublinLondon Heathrow and other European hubs. 

Passengers travelling from the UAE to EU, UK and other destinations must present a negative result from a Covid-19 test conducted within the previous 96 hours. 

Special requirements may be in place if you are transiting through certain countries, such as France. You should confirm transit rules with your airline prior to travel. 

If you are transiting through the UK and either staying airside, i.e. aren’t passing through immigration control, or travelling to a different airport to get an onward flight connection to Ireland, you must fill out a UK passenger locator form in advance of travel.  

You should be aware of the possibility of flight changes or cancellations and should contact the airline to confirm travel details.

 

What documents do I need to travel to Abu Dhabi airport?

The Abu Dhabi government announced that from 5 September entry to the emirate will be granted to those able to demonstrate receipt of a negative PCR Covid-19 test result OR a negative DPI laser test result within the previous 48 hours. It is recommended that you pre-book your DPI laser test appointment in advance on a dedicated website or by using the SEHA app. 

Passports and flight booking confirmation should be produced if requested by officials to travel to the airport. 

 

What requirements are in place for those travelling to Ireland?

A negative Covid-19 test is not required to enter Ireland. However, you should check your airline requirements prior to travelling.

The Irish Health Authorities require anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland and those countries on the Green List (see below), to restrict their movements for 14 days, this includes:

  • Irish citizens coming home
  • people with no symptoms
  • people who have tested negative for the virus in another country

Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. To ensure that this is being observed all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. Exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff. Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements. Further advice for people who have recently returned from abroad is available from the HSE.

The Government has published a ‘Green List’ of countries whereby the status of travel advice to which non-essential travel can resume be changed to ‘normal precautions’ status. Individuals arriving in Ireland from these locations will also not be required to restrict their movements on arrival, the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait are not included. The list and related travel advice will be subject to ongoing review.

 

I am an Irish citizen and I need to update or change my UAE visa status. Can I do this?

The UAE Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship announced on 13th April that visas and entry permits that expired after 1 March 2020 would be valid until the end of December 2020. This decision was revoked from 12 July 2020. Further information is available on the UAE Information and Services website. 

Residents abroad with expired visas should contact their UAE sponsor to liaise with the immigration authorities. 

If your visa has been cancelled, you will need to leave the UAE within 30 days or change the status of your visa to remain in the country legally.

Irish citizens currently in the UAE on expired visit visa should seek to update their status in the UAE.

If you have questions on the validity or expiry of your visa, or on change of visa status (e.g. From a Resident visa to a Visit visa) you should contact UAE Immigration – see the ICA or GDRFA websites.

 

Who should I contact in an emergency situation?

For emergencies involving an Irish Citizen please call the Embassy in Abu Dhabi on +971(0)2 495 8200.

• You will be asked to leave a message on the answering machine.

• Remember to state:

o your name,

o the nature of the problem,

o where you are now, and

o the details of how the Duty Officer can contact you (e.g. leave your mobile phone number, or the phone number of the hotel/hostel where you are staying).

• If necessary, contact the police also.

• The answering machine is monitored regularly, and the Duty Officer at the Embassy will contact you as soon as possible.

• Please note that the Duty Officer will deal with emergencies only.

• Any non-emergency messages left will have to be deleted to preserve space.

 

Ireland Entry Visas

I want to submit an application for an Irish visa. Can I still apply?

The Embassy of Ireland Visa Office Abu Dhabi is pleased to announce Ireland VFS Visa Application Centres (VACs) in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Kuwait City will reopen on Monday, 22 June 2020. VACs will only accept “D” category long-stay applications from visa required nationals residing in the UAE and Kuwait.

Priority/Emergency visa applications will continue to be processed. Further information can be found here

Ireland visa queries may be sent by submitted via the Contact Us form at the end of the page. 

Qatar

I am an Irish citizen in Qatar – can I leave?

Qatar Airways is operating flights from Qatar to Ireland and to other destinations.

We ask that you Register on our Citizens Registration portal - https://citizensregistration.dfa.ie/

If you have a query or require an essential service, please complete our Contact Us form. 

If you wish to discuss your situation, we can arrange to call you back.

 

I am a Qatar resident but currently abroad. Can I return to Qatar?

The Qatar authorities have advised all citizens and residents to avoid non-essential foreign travel. Since 16 March, non-Qatari citizens, including those with a Qatar residence permit, will not be permitted to enter Qatar. This does not apply to transit passengers, who will still be able to transfer through Qatar.

The Qatar authorities have announced procedures to facilitate the return of Qatar ID holders abroad from 1 August. Qatar ID holders must receive approval to travel to Qatar in advance of booking their travel, the granting of approval is at the discretion of Qatari authorities. Applications for approval must be submitted through the Qatar Portal

Those travelling from low-risk countries, including Ireland, will be required to take a PCR test on arrival at the airport. It will be mandatory to download the Ehteraz app and to sign a declaration to adhere to home quarantine of 7 days. Further information on the travel requirements can be found here https://www.marhaba.qa/qatar-announces-quarantine-policy-for-incoming-travellers/

After 7 days of home quarantine, the traveller must visit a dedicated health centre to get another PCR test. If the results are negative, the quarantine requirement will end.

  

Kuwait

 

The Kuwaiti Goverment announced the partial resumption of commercial flights to and from Kuwait from 1 August 2020. Citizens and residency visa holders, with some exceptions, are permitted to enter Kuwait.

The Kuwaiti authorities announced on 29 July that all passengers arriving in Kuwait must produce a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test conducted in the previous 72 hours. Passengers are strongly advised to confirm the requirements for COVID testing with their airline prior to travel. 

https://www.dgca.gov.kw/NewsDetails/Index/112

https://www.kuwaitairport.gov.kw/en/travellers/

The Kuwait authorities advise those travelling to or from Kuwait to register their details on the Kuwait Mosafer app.  

https://www.kuwaitmosafer.com/home.html

Passengers arriving in Kuwait will be required to go through thermal screening and may be tested for Covid-19. There will be a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days at home. You should follow the directions of the local authorities.

The Kuwaiti Government automatically extended visit and residency visas of those in Kuwait that expired after 1 March to 30 November 2020.

 

We ask that you Register on our Citizens Registration portal - https://citizensregistration.dfa.ie/

If you have a query or require an essential service, please complete our Contact Us form. 

If you wish to discuss your situation, we can arrange to call you back. 

 

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