The UAE has suspended the issuance of all visas to foreigners with effect from March 17.
The rule extends to all foreigners except diplomatic passport holders, official news agency WAM reported.
“The move comes as part of the precautionary measures taken by the UAE in response to the World Health Organisation’s declaration of Covid-19 as a pandemic, a development which reflects the high risks now associated with travel under the current circumstances,” a statement by the Federal Authority for Identity And Citizenship (ICA) read.
The decision does not apply to those who already have their visas issued prior to the aforementioned date.
“The ICA affirms that the decision stems from the UAE’s deep sense of responsibility and diligent efforts in collaboration with other countries of the world to fight the coronavirus pandemic and survive this ongoing crisis,” the statement noted.
According to the ICA, the decision will be valid until a mechanism for medical examination has been established in countries of departure as part of global measures taken to halt the spread of the contagion.
In addition, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in the UAE has announced the suspension of all inbound and outbound flights to Lebanon, Turkey, Syria and Iraq, with effect from March 17 until further notice.
Preceding the aforementioned ban, the UAE had suspended all inbound and outbound travel to Italy, with the exception of flights to and from Rome, effective Friday, March 13 until further notice.
The UAE announced 11 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the total number of cases recorded in the country to 85.
A total of 20 patients are said to have fully recovered from the Covid-19 in the country.