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UK bans flights from Dubai

Dubai is currently one of the only regions in the world open quarantine-free to visitors.

Flights from Dubai have been banned by the United Kingdom as the United Arab Emirates is added to the UK’s ‘red list’ of countries.

From tomorrow, flights from what is one of Britain’s most popular holiday destinations, will end.

Britain’s transport secretary, Grant Shapps, announced this afternoon that the UAE will be added to the 30 countries that are currently subject to a UK travel ban. Rwanda and Burundi have also been added to the list.

According to the ban, no flights may land in the UK from Dubai or Abu Dhabi from 1pm GMT on Friday, January 29.

Hong Kong residents have been using Dubai as a gateway to Hong Kong after the Asian city banned flights from the UK in December. Current regulations stipulate that arrivals must not have been in the UK for 21 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong. Dubai is one of the only places in the world to be welcoming international arrivals, including Britons, quarantine-free.

The move is also likely to affect travellers between the UK and Asia Pacific, including Australia, using UAE as a transit stop.

According to the British government, the move has been made in response to the likely spread of the South Africa-detected Covid variant in the Middle East.

British, Irish and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK will be allowed to return to the UK from UAE but must do so via a third country. All other travellers who have been in or transited through the UAE in the last ten days will be unable to enter England and Scotland from 1pm on January 29, will be banned from entering Wales from 4am on January 29 and will be barred from entering Northern Ireland from 4am on January 30.

Emirates and Etihad operate flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively out of the UK.

Emirates has confirmed that it will be suspending all flights between the UK and Dubai from 1pm GMT on January 29. The final flights from Dubai to the UK will be EK07 to London Heathrow, EK01 to London Heathrow, EK39 to Birmingham and EK27 to Glasgow. The last flights to depart the UK for Dubai will be EK08 from London Heathrow, EK02 from London Heathrow, EK40 from Birmingham and EK28 from Glasgow.

Britons from the UAE arriving after 4am GMT on Friday January 29 must isolate for ten days. They will not be eligible to use the UK’s ‘Test to Release’ scheme to exit quarantine early on day five. British and Irish nationals arriving from red list countries will soon be required to quarantine in a UK government-designated hotel for ten days.

The UAE has said that all arrivals into Dubai from January 31 must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours before departure, without exception. Britons were previously able to receive a test at Dubai airport on arrival.

For further UK government travel guidance to the UAE, see online.

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