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Emirates South Africa travel ban extends to 11 other African countries

Emirates
Written by See Africa Today

Emirates South Africa travel ban now has an addition of 11 other African countries where the Dubai-based airline is not flying.

Emirates Airlines flights cancellation in some African countries is a result of fears about a Covid-19 variant known as ‘Omicron’ spreading throughout the region.

The UAE government issued an order in November first issuing the infamous Emirates South Africa travel ban.

It would later prohibit travellers from four other countries, including Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Mozambique, and Namibia, from entering the country. The restrictions since then broadened to include places throughout Africa, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, and Tanzania.

Emirates cancels flights to South Africa over COGTA rules a day after resuming operations

An Emirates plane. [Photo: The South African]

Emirates imposed its newest restrictions on inbound flights from Conakry, Guinea, and Luanda, Angola on December 25 citing safety concerns. Passengers who begin their journey in Conakry and fly to Dakar, Senegal, will not be permitted to board the aircraft.

Which African Countries are Affected by the Emirates Ban?

Only inbound travellers are subject to the restrictions, which include anyone who has visited or transited through certain destinations within 14 days of their scheduled arrival in the UAE. Outbound passenger operations are unaffected by the shutdown.

Emirates has temporarily restricted travel to and from the following countries, pending further notification.

  • Angola
  • Guinea
  • Uganda
  • Ghana
  • Ivory Coast
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Ethiopia
  • Nigeria
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • South Africa

How Do I Travel Via Emirates to/from Banned Countries

The airline does not need to be contacted by passengers who have already booked flights to or from these destinations. On its website, Emirates tells affected passengers that they do not need to contact the airline immediately in order to rebook.

Rather than cancelling their Emirates tickets, customers can simply hold on to them until flights resume and then contact their travel agent or booking office to make other travel arrangements.

“Customers affected by flight cancellations do not need to call us immediately for rebooking. Customers can simply hold on to their Emirates ticket and when flights resume, get in touch with their travel agent or booking office to make new travel plans,” the airline states.

Who are Exempted by the Ban Issued by Emirates?

Citizens of the UAE, their first-degree relatives, diplomatic missions, official delegations between the UAE and these countries, and holders of golden visas are exempt from these limitations and are permitted to fly into the UAE from these countries without restrictions.

These travellers should bring a negative Covid-19 test received within 48 hours before departure, as well as a negative Rapid-PCR test obtained at the airport within six hours of departure – if at all feasible – to the airport before leaving. On arrival in the UAE, a second PCR test will be performed at the airport.

Only emergency treatment situations, official delegations, and scholarships are permitted for UAE citizens to travel to or from any of the nations listed in Africa.

Emirates resumes flights to Lagos, Abuja

Emirates South Africa Travel Ban. [Photo courtesy]

Emirates South Africa Travel Ban in South Africa

According to a notice by Emirates dated November 30, 2021, the airline said it would operate passenger flights into Johannesburg from December 1 to December 30, with four flights per week.

The Emirates South Africa travel ban is inclusive of barring outbound passengers from Johannesburg as a result of the existing travel restrictions.

The current flight schedules and seat availability, as well as travel requirements, are on the airline’s website. Emirates also halted passenger service to and from Durban and Cape Town until further notice.

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