Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Emirates update: South Africans can now transit through Dubai

A travel update on Emirates Airlines’ website indicates that South Africans will be permitted to transit through Dubai from 5 August, subject to conditions that have yet to be announced.   

Emirates has published a list of countries whose nationals will be allowed to transit through Dubai from 5 August, following recent updates to the directive issued by United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities.

South Africa allowed transit through Dubai

The list includes a number of nationalities that will soon be allowed to enter the UAE, as well as others who will be allowed to transit through Dubai.  South Africa is listed as one of the countries allowed to transit through Dubai. 

Being able to transit through Dubai implies that the UAE’s lengthy ban on South Africans travelling on Emirates’ flights is soon to be lifted or reviewed since South Africans may now connect to other destinations with Emirates Airlines. Final eligibility details are still to be released.

UAE TRAVEL BAN AGAINST SA

Emirates Airlines halted flights to South Africa in January this year as a result of a directive issued by UAE authorities banning flights between the two countries and restricting entry to passengers from South Africa in an attempt to prevent the importation of the Beta variant of the coronavirus into the UAE. 

Having halted South African passenger flights, Emirates has had to repeatedly extend its flight ban for its South African routes, as the UAE has been slow to make any adjustments to the travel ban.

EMIRATES AIRLINES MAKING ITS WAY BACK INTO SA

Travel News reports that Emirates resumed daily flights to Johannesburg on 11 March but that the carrier was not permitted to carry passengers from Johannesburg on the return flight to Dubai. The flight from Johannesburg to Dubai was for cargo purposes only.

Authorities in the UAE later updated the directive, resulting in Emirates Airlines being able to carry passengers on its flights to South Africa but disallowing passengers from South Africa on return flights between South Africa and Dubai.  

THE END IN SIGHT?

It is probable that Emirates Airlines will start carrying South African passengers on its flights out of South Africa from 5 August when new regulations come into effect.

Even though it may only be passengers who can transit in Dubai while connecting to other destinations, this represents progress in the UAE’s easing of restrictions against South Africa.

France and Germany

Countries in Europe have begun allowing entry to South Africans once again. France now allows entry to South Africans who have been fully vaccinated.  

Germany has reclassified South Africa from a virus-variant area to a high-risk area and will allow quarantine-free entry to fully vaccinated South Africans. South Africans who have not been vaccinated may also travel to Germany although they will have to quarantine for 10 days on arrival.   

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