The UAE has announced it will be banning unvaccinated citizens from travelling abroad, effective from 10 January, the state news agency WAM reported yesterday.
The report citing the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority stated that only Emiratis who are fully vaccinated, including those who received the booster shot would be eligible to travel.
The ban would not apply to people who are medically exempt from receiving the vaccine nor for "humanitarian cases and individuals travelling for medical and treatment purposes". It is understood that expat workers, who form the majority population in the Gulf state would not be affected by the new restrictions.
The decision comes amid an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases with the Omicron variant already dominant in many countries and will likely displace Delta as the world's dominant strain.
Today the Ministry of Health and Prevention announced 2,600 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 767,093. Three more fatalities were also recorded, with the total death toll currently at 2,168.
The UAE has the world's highest vaccination rate, with 100 per cent of all eligible residents having receiving their first dosage and more than 92 per cent of the population are fully vaccinated.