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UAE concedes to Nigeria, removes requirement for Rapid Antigen Tests

...says inbound flights must not exceed 200 passengers

The embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Abuja has conceded to the demands of Nigeria to remove the requirement for a Rapid Antigen test at the airports in Nigeria for passengers travelling to UAE.

This is as the UAE government demand that the number of passengers on inbound flights to the UAE must not exceed 200 for two weeks.

This was contained in a letter dated 24th March, 2021 issued by the embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Abuja 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.

Travellers heading to the United Arab Emirates from Nigeria have been stuck over the past two months due to Nigeria’s clash with the UAE government over pre-departure testing requirements for passengers.

The Emirates Airline and Air Peace suspended flights from Nigeria to Dubai and Sharjah last month after UAE insisted passengers flying from Nigeria directly must conduct RDT within four hours before departure, however Emirates continued to bring in passengers from the UAE.

Read Also: Airlines may shut operations over Customs’ refusal to implement FG’s waiver – Onyema

But Last week, the federal government temporarily banned Emirates airline from operating in the country over its continuous refusal to fly passengers without a pre-boarding rapid diagnostic test (RTD’s).

However, in the recent letter by the UAE embassy, it stated that the UAE has decided to remove the requirement for a Rapid Antigen test at the airports in Nigeria while demanding the some requirements.

The UAE requires that only direct flights between UAE and Nigeria are allowed and passengers need to present a valid negative PCR test conducted within 48 hours before boarding.

The Nigerian government is required to provide the embassy with updated lists of approved PCR test centres by the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Airlines are required to ensure the accuracy of the passengers’ information contact details and place to stay during their stay in UAE.

“The embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Abuja avails itself of the opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the assurances of it’s highest considerations.

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

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