In an extraordinary measure in order to counter the spread of the coronavirus, the UAE is barring entry to holders of valid resident visas for a renewable period of two weeks, effective March 19.
The country has also suspended all work visa issuance and visas-on-arrival since last Thursday and imposed mandatory 14-day quarantine on anyone who enters the country and any violations of which will be prosecuted. The exemptions to the work visa suspension only apply to intra-corporate transfer and Expo 2020 permit holders.
The UAE has also banned its citizens from traveling overseas until further notice.
According to the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the measures, meant to be temporary but immediately go into effect, are the aims of the state to protect the health and safety of its citizens from the rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world.
The most recent decision comes as a measure to ensure the safety of those that are affected by the decision, subject to renewals depending on the health status measures which are taken due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Meanwhile, UAE residents overseas in the present are advised to contact the UAE diplomatic mission for all necessary support in order to facilitate their return back to the country.
The UAE’s visa-on-arrival suspension, which is also going to continue until further notice, affects its citizens from above 72 countries.
The country’s attorney general Hamad Al Shamsi said that anyone violating the 14-day mandatory self-quarantine period would risk legal action and ignoring the precautionary measures would be a punishable crime.
It was not clear whether or not those that are under quarantine would be allowed to leave their houses to shop for essential goods. However, authorities have encouraged residents to use delivery services, which operate in the UAE extensively.