UAE removes antigen test as requirement for Dubai trip

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government has removed the rapid antigen test as a requirement for travellers to Dubai from Nigeria.

The UAE Government had introduced the antigen test in addition to the negative PCR certification which the Nigerian government approved.

Following the development, the UAE Government had stopped flights from Lagos and Abuja to Dubai, UAE while allowing only flights from Dubai to Nigeria.

The Federal Government reciprocated and stopped all Emirates flights from coming to Nigeria.

But the UAE government has finally bowed to pressure by removing the antigen test requirement for visitors to Dubai.

The decision of the UAE was communicated to the Federal Government through the country’s embassy.

The move was aimed at ending the stalemate that has characterized air travel on the highly lucrative Dubai routes.

The decision was contained in a letter from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Abuja dated Wednesday 24th March 2021 with reference No.078/A/2021 sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The UAE among other things also requested that the number of passengers from Nigeria to the UAE must not exceed 200 passengers for inbound flights from Nigeria for two weeks and that only direct flights between both countries are allowed.

The letter read: “The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Abuja presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Protocol Department) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with reference to the Ministry Verbal Note No. K.521/2021 dated 16th February 2021 and the Embassy’s Note Verbal No. 049/A/2021 dated 23 February 2021.

“The embassy has the honour to convey the response of the competent authorities in the UAE regarding the ongoing flight halt between the UAE and Nigeria as well as the travel requirements for travellers to the UAE.

“The UAE Government has decided to remove the requirement for the Rapid Antigen test at the airports in Nigeria while demanding the following requirements:

“Number of passengers on inbound flights to the UAE must not exceed 200 passengers for two weeks.

“Only direct flights between the UAE and Nigeria are allowed.

“Passengers need to present a valid negative PCR test conducted within 48 hours before boarding.

“Provide the embassy with updated list of the approved PCR test centres by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the importance of ensuring the accuracy of the passengers’ information, contact details and place of stay during their visit in UAE.”

However, it was not clear when the flights would resume but a source said authorities of both countries are discussing to end the stalemate.