The UK has announced that it has added the UAE to its ‘red list’ of countries, meaning that all direct passenger flights between the countries will be suspended from Friday 29th Jan 2021.
The Department for Transport confirmed in a statement that from 1pm GMT, passengers who have been in or transited through the UAE, Burundi or Rwanda in the last 10 days will no longer be granted access to the UK.
However British and Irish nationals and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK will be able to enter the country. The UAE has also extended tourists visas for British travellers affected by the UK’s decision, according to state news agency WAM.
The move means that both Emirates and Etihad will have to temporarily severe some of their most profitable routes, which had been enjoying relatively high load factors until recently introduced restrictions.
A statement from Dubai Airports said: “Passengers booked for travel on flights due to arrive in the UK after this time should not go to Dubai International airport (DXB) and should contact their airline for more information.”
Exemptions usually in place will not apply, including for business travel, said a statement from the UK’s Department for Transport.
It said: “British nationals currently in the UAE should make use of the commercial options available if they wish to return to the UK. Indirect commercial routes that will enable British and Irish nationals and residents to return to the UK continue to operate.”
Thousands of people planning to travel back from Asia and Australasia will also see their onward flights from Dubai/Abu Dhabi cancelled.
Plans to introduce a new system of mandatory hotel quarantine for UK arrivals from countries including the UAE are not yet in place.