The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reportedly issued a travel imposition on passport holders of Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, a report has revealed.
The UAE was said to have issued the new directive following the surge in the countries’ COVID-19 cases from passengers of the two countries.
“Due to an increasing number of COVID Positive passengers at the destination, it is decided to suspend accepting passengers to U.A.E. from Nigeria and Congo DRC (FIH) only. This is effective today, 13th December 2021,” ThisDay quoted a message from the airline as saying.
It was learnt that Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and other airlines that fly Nigerians to Dubai via their operational hubs have started rejecting Nigerian passengers in compliance with the directive.
Reports surfaced on social media on Monday of Nigerian travellers asked to disembark from an Ethiopian Airlines plane at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, which was scheduled to go to Dubai, a popular tourist city for Nigerians in the UAE.
A source close to Ethiopian Airlines confirmed the development.
“Today they have to offload Dubai passengers. So no airline wants to carry Nigerian passengers to Dubai. They said Nigerians are testing positive to COVID-19; that is why some airlines are not carrying them. It is just like they did the last time,” TheCable quoted the source as saying.
The travel ban on Nigerians to the UAE comes just days after Emirates Airline, one of the Arab country’s national flight carriers, once again, suspended its flight operations in Nigeria, particularly the Lagos/Abuja to Dubai routes.
The decision is sequel to the decision by the Nigerian government last Thursday to limit the flight operations of the airline from daily flights to a flight of just once per week into Abuja.
According to the Federal Government, it took the decision following the refusal of the UAE authorities to grant Air Peace equal rights to Sharjah international airport despite Emirates being allowed to operate 21 weekly passenger flights to Nigeria.