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UAE bans travel to South Asian, African countries over virus variants

Countries on the ban list have known cases of newer variants of COVID-19 that are more easily transmissible, though it is unknown if many are actually more dangerous.
Emirates airlines employees behind check in counters equipped with a fast-track identification system that uses face and iris-recognition technologies, at Dubai international airport, on March 7, 2021.

The United Arab Emirates banned its citizens from traveling to several South Asian and African countries on Thursday. The move is part of the Gulf state’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including newer variants of the virus.

The UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority said on Thursday that Emirati citizens are barred from traveling to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Namibia, Zambia, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Africa and Nigeria. There are some exceptions to the ban, including for diplomats and those seeking emergency medical treatment, according to a statement from the authority.

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