A travel ban has been declared between the UAE and the UK, the British Embassy in the UAE has said. The suspension takes effect from 1 pm UK time on January 29.
“You will not be able to fly directly to the UK from the UAE after this time,” the embassy tweeted on Thursday. Britain’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps stated the UAE has been added to the government’s travel alert list along with Burundi and Rwanda.
Non-citizens will be banned from traveling to the UK from the UAE, and British citizens will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine. There will not be any exemption, including for business travel, declared the UK that is staggering under a massive spike in coronavirus cases.
The decision to prevent travel from these destinations follows the discovery of a new coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa, that may have grown to other countries, including Burundi and Rwanda, said a government spokesperson.
From 1 pm on January 29, passengers who have been in or transited through the UAE, Burundi, and Rwanda in the last 10 days will no longer be allowed access to the UK.
This does not include British and Irish nationals or third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK. They will be able to enter the UK but are expected to self-isolate for 10 days at home, or in a hotel. They will not be eligible to use “Test to Release’ which allows people to use a negative Covid test result to free themselves from quarantine protocol.
The embassy has told British nationals currently in the UAE to make use of indirect flights if they want to return to the UK. The decision is assumed to upset the travel plans of many, including British ex-pats, who are wishing to fly from or via the UAE.