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The UAE Eases Travel Restrictions; Foreign Residence Visa Holders Now Free to Return

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has slightly eased its emergency COVID-19 border closures by lifting a restriction on foreign residence visa holders entering the small Persian Gulf country. From June 1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation says expat residents will be able to return to the UAE to be reunited with their families after they were effectively locked out of the country.

In its response to stem the spread of the novel Coronavirus, the UAE initially stopped issuing new visitor visas and then suspended its visa on arrival for nationals from 70 different countries on March 18. Officials then went one step further on March 25 by banning the arrival of all passengers into the country except for Emirati citizens.

The authorities have not indicated when travel restrictions might be eased further but there are said to be high-level discussions with some governments about the prospect of introducing mutually agreed “travel bubbles”.

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