UAE's Ministry of Health calls on citizens, residents to avoid travel amid coronavirus outbreak

People who choose to travel may be placed in home quarantine on their return to the UAE

Rapid laboratory testing and control procedures have also been activated at UAE border crossings

The UAE Ministry of Health has advised citizens and residents to avoid travelling abroad unless it is absolutely necessary, in light of ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to a report by the WAM state news agency, those who do travel will be subject to follow-up checks on their return and may be kept in quarantine at home, the ministry said. 

The report added that rapid laboratory testing and control procedures have also been activated at UAE border crossings, where more than 30,000 tests have been conducted since the virus appeared.

"وزارة الصحة" تهيب بالمواطنين والمقيمين ضرورة تجنب السفر نظرا للوضع الحالي لفيروس "#كورونا" المستجد وتفشيه في عدة دول#وام— وكالة أنباء الإمارات (@wamnews) March 5, 2020

On Wednesday, the UAE’s Education Ministry announced that the spring holiday will start earlier, and all public and private schools and higher education institutions across the country will close for four weeks, starting Sunday, with a process of distance learning employed for pupils.

Students and staff who have travelled will be placed in home quarantine for 14 days and will not be allowed to enter educational facilities before that period expires.

During the next four weeks, some 600 schools will undergo a rigorous deep clean and over 3,000 buses will be sterilised.

Dubai is home to Emirates airline, the world’s biggest airline by international traffic, and Abu Dhabi owns Etihad Airways. Both airlines have encouraged staff to take leave. 

The UAE has confirmed 28 cases of coronavirus, with 23 still active and five totally recovered. Two cases continue to be described as “serious”.

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