Travellers to UK face quarantine on arrival from UAE

Travellers from the UAE face quarantine on arrival in the UK from Tuesday after the British government changed its list of countries with a travel corridor.

National restrictions do not permit international travel for those in the UK, unless for a limited set of reasons, but those already in the UAE had until now been able to avoid quarantine if travelling to the UK.

Rules were changed last week to include a PCR test before travel.

The UK Transport Ministry said that from 4am on Tuesday, people travelling from the UAE will need to be isolated for 10 days, unless they have an exemption.

The Foreign Office has now has updated its travel advice.

Passengers from the UAE will also have to present a negative Covid-19 test result taken up to three days before departing for Britain “to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally”, the ministry said.

“The government has made it consistently clear that it will take decisive action if necessary to contain the virus, including if the public health risk of people returning from a particular country without self-isolating becomes too high.”

Grant Shapps, the British Transport Minister, said on Twitter: “Ignoring the rules costs lives. Inconsiderate and selfish behaviour puts others at risk and is unfair to those following the rules to beat the virus. Stay at home. Save lives.”

The infection rate rose in the UAE from about 1,000 a day in early January to more than 2,000 a day. But the Emirates last week become the world’s second highest vaccinator, after Israel.

Many British travellers arrived in the UAE after the travel corridor opened weeks before Christmas.

Those returning from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah will be included in the quarantine.

The move came a day after Scotland introduced a similar restriction on people arriving from the UAE.

All passengers who have travelled to Scotland from Dubai since January 3 have also been asked to isolate themselves.

There was also a positive case of Covid-19 confirmed among Scotland’s Celtic Football Club squad, two days after they returned from a six-day training camp in Dubai last week.

More than 250,000 people in the UAE have been fully vaccinated against the virus, with the Pfizer-BioNTech inoculation joining the Sinopharm vaccine as the two shots used by health authorities.

That means around about 2.5 per cent of the country’s population has received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine since the start of a major inoculation drive in mid-December.

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