The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in partnership with the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, announced today that unvaccinated citizen of United Arab Emirates will be banned from traveling abroad starting January 10, 2022.
According to the UAE’s crisis management agencies, only the fully vaccinated and boosted Emiratis will be allowed to leave the country.
Exemptions could be made for those unable to take the shot for medical reasons, as well as “humanitarian cases” and travelers seeking medical treatment abroad, the agencies said.
UAE is far from the first state to restrict travel based on vaccination status, though most countries that have done so have framed their regulations in terms of barring the unvaccinated from entering their countries, rather than prohibiting them from leaving.
The question of what it means to be ‘fully vaccinated’ against COVID-19 has been a sticking point for governments trying to adopt a coherent set of regulations, given that nations like Israel have made booster shots mandatory, stripping those citizens previously considered fully jabbed of their vaccine passports, and leaving other countries in a state of flux as they are forced to depend on the whims of foreign governments to draft their own laws.
The UAE reported 2,556 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the total number to 764,493, and recorded one death attributed to “COVID-19 complications.” 2,165 people have died with the virus in the country since the start of the pandemic, while 745,963 have recovered.