Passengers arriving from Rome to be tested at UAE airports. WAM
The flight suspension is part of the precautionary measures to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
In a statement released on Friday, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said that all passengers arriving from Rome International Airport are required to undergo thorough preventive medical tests at UAE airports to ensure that they are free from the virus.
"The decision to suspend flights was made after reviewing and analysing the current situation in Italy and was done in coordination with the concerned national authorities, including the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and the UAE's national airline carriers; Etihad Airways and Emirates Airlines.
NCEMA, and other concerned authorities, will continue to closely monitor the situation in Italy and will take appropriate preventative measures based on careful analysis of ongoing developments as necessary.
The GCAA urged all passengers to check with their respective airlines for flight status updates on affected routes.
The embassy noted that it coordinated with UAE national carriers Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways and Saudi national carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines to operate flights for the next 72 hours according to the announced schedule. It commended in this regard the notable cooperation shown by officials of the national carriers in question.
Coronavirus concerns led Saudi Arabia to cut off air and sea travel with Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, South Korea, Syria and the United Arab Emirates. The kingdom had earlier closed off its land borders as well.
"We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference on Wednesday.
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It is International Women’s Day today. Let us express our gratitude to everyone across the globe who have either toiled or effortlessly promote for women’s emancipation and partnerships in all fronts since the 1900s.