Rwanda’s national carrier, RwandAir, has resumed passenger flights to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
It will resume flying from Rwanda’s capital Kigali, Uganda, Cameroon, Ghana, Burundi, and Zambia to Dubai.
The announcement comes three weeks after the flights were suspended to limit the spread of Covid-19 in the wake of the new Omicron variant.
Passenger flights originating from other countries remain suspended until further notice, according to the announcement released on Tuesday.
In addition to the resumed flights, the UAE’s latest review saw Angola, Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire allowed admission to the middle eastern state.
Dubai had imposed travel restrictions on direct flights from other countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
Since January 7, RwandAir was only operating cargo flights from Kigali to Dubai on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
RwandAir currently offers services to 25 destinations across 21 countries in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Dubai had offered a landing ground for affected traders after Rwanda suspended flights to Guangzhou in China in 2020.
The resumption of flights to Dubai is expected to ease pressure on local traders who depend on the gulf market to stock their businesses.
Rwanda and Uganda were removed from the UAE’s travel red list, but Kenya is still banned from Dubai after the UAE reported that travellers from Nairobi were testing positive for Covid-19 after arrival in the Middle East nation despite having negative test certificates from Kenya prior to departure.
Kenya’s Ministry of Health launched a probe on the matter to bring to book health officials involved in the testing fraud, where some officials are suspected of colluding to give out fake Covid certificates.
Under the new measures from the UAE, travellers from Africa are required to provide a PCR test result conducted at the airport six hours before departure for Dubai and self-quarantine until they receive a negative Covid-19 test certificate issued within 48 hours of arrival in Dubai.
Currently, a certificate of a negative Covid-19 test is required for all travellers arriving, transiting, or departing from Rwanda. The only accepted test is a PCR test performed within 72 hours prior to departure. Other tests, such as rapid tests, are not accepted.
For the last two weeks, Rwanda has seen a drop in Covid-19 infections with the positivity rate dropping from 6 percent at the end of December to the current 3 percent.
Rwanda has focused efforts to vaccinate its 12.9 million population with 6.4 million fully vaccinated.
On January 16, Rwanda launched a countrywide vaccination campaign targeting to vaccinate 1.5 million people before February.