UAE residents with valid residency visa permits who are currently out of the country must undergo a COVID19 test and receive a negative result at least 72 hours before returning to the Emirates under new rules announced by the UAE government. The regulations, which come into effect from July 1st mean travellers are not permitted to board a plane bound for the UAE without first getting confirmation that they are free of COVID19. The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) announced the new rules as part of ongoing efforts to tackle the COVID19 pandemic and support the UAE’s strategy of gradually easing travel restrictions. As part of the new regulations, the UAE government has issued a list of preconditions that need to be followed ahead of the approved return of foreign nationals with valid residence permits to the UAE. Most importantly, those returning to the Emirates must undergo testing for COVID19 in an approved lab. These can currently be found in around 106 cities in 17 countries around the world, with this number due to increase to 150 labs in 31 countries as the testing initiative is rolled out, NCEMA and ICA announced A list of these labs can be found by visiting the ICA’s website: Smartservice.ica.gov.ae Valid UAE visa-holders coming to the Emirates from countries that don’t have approved testing labs at this moment will be subjected to COVID19 screening until such facilities become available, whereupon all screening conditions must be applied. All returning residents must comply with 14-day isolation rules at home or in an isolation facility. In addition, they must bear all costs of tests and quarantine in the event that their private accommodation doesn’t meet required standards. Employers of foreign nationals with UAE visas should bear any such expenses whenever required. Returning UAE residents are instructed to download one of the approved smart phone apps so health authorities can monitor their status and ensure the safety of the public.