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Gulf hubs removed from UK red list

Travellers to London will be able to transit through Dubai without incurring a hotel quarantine.

Flight options between Asia and London were given a boost today as the United Arab Emirates and Qatar were removed from Britain’s so-called red list.

This effectively means that travellers will be able to transfer through the Gulf hubs of Doha and Dubai without incurring hotel quarantine on arrival in the UK.

Red list countries require a ten-day hotel isolation in England at the traveller’s expense. However it was rumoured this week that British ministers were looking at allowing transit through red list countries if passengers remained airside.

Along with the removals, additions were also made to the red list, including Georgia, Mexico and the French overseas territories of La Réunion and Mayotte. The UK government indicated that changes to the red list were made due to “variants of concern”.

India and Bahrain were also removed from the red list and, along with UAE and Qatar, were placed on the amber list, which means quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated travellers. However, Covid-19 tests are still required within 72 hours of departure and on arrival into England.

In further movement, France was transferred from the amber plus list to amber, meaning fully vaccinated holidaymakers will not have to quarantine back in the UK.

The green list was boosted with the addition of Austria, Germany, Latvia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania and Norway. Green means no quarantine but compulsory tests on departure and arrival. There are now 36 countries on the green list.

All of today’s announced changes will come into effect from 4am on Sunday, August 8.

It was also announced that hotel quarantine prices will rise from GBP1,750 per person to GBP2,285 from August 12. The charge for an adult sharing a room will increase from GBP650 to GBP1,430.

Britain is also welcoming vaccinated travellers from the EU and US quarantine-free as vaccinations given in these places are now recognised by the UK. Previously the UK only recognised National Health Service-issued inoculation certificates.

Looking at a trip to Dubai? These are our favourite family hotels.

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