Dubai holidays: FCDO issues major update as Government clamps down on UK arrivals from UAE

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On Monday, February 15, the UK’s new quarantine hotels came into action, with arrivals from “high risk” countries forced to spend their 10 days of self-isolation in a Government approved quarantine hotel. The United Arab Emirates is one of the nations currently on the list, which came as a blow to Britons who found themselves in holiday hotspot Dubai when the rule came into force.

Though there are no direct flights between the UAE and UK, the FCDO has warned only UK residents will be allowed to enter the country if they have been in Dubai.

In order to enter the country they will have to fly via another nation, and then face the strictest quarantine rules when they land.

“From 4am on January 30, direct flights from the UAE to the UK are prohibited,” explains the FCDO’s latest travel advice update.

“Visitors who have been in or transited through the UAE in the previous 10 days cannot enter England.

“British and Irish nationals and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in England from UAE will be required to quarantine in a hotel.

“If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure.

“If you do not comply, and you do not have a valid exemption, your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.”

Travellers must also provide full details of the journey they have made, as well as their contact details, before entering the UK.

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“When you enter England from abroad, except Ireland, you must follow the new requirements for quarantining and taking additional COVID-19 tests,” the FCDO continues.

“For those travelling from a country on the banned travel list, you will be required to quarantine in a hotel.”

From January 1, the Government has allowed only those with residence rights in the UK to enter the country.

The FCDO explains these include: “Holders of Indefinite Leave to Remain; holders of existing leave to enter or remain or an entry clearance/visa that grants such leave, for example, students or workers; holders of EU Settlement Scheme; those who have rights of entry under the Withdrawal Agreements; and family members of EEA nationals with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.”

Dubai became a hotspot for holidays in the winter months due to its place on the no-quarantine list at the time.

The nation was also allowing arrivals who tested negative for COVID-19 to side-step quarantine.

Influencers, in particular, became the subject of criticism after Home Secretary Priti Patel said slammed them for “showing off about which parts of the world that they are in, mainly in sunny parts of the world.”

Currently, travel abroad is illegal under the current lockdown rules.

While travel for some “essential reasons” is permitted, the UAE is not included within this due to its “high risk” status.

However, Dubai is still accepting visitors from the UK as long as they meet entry requirements.

“Residents returning to Dubai still need to get approval before travelling,” explains the FCDO.

“The Dubai authorities have issued visit and tourist visas since 6 July 2020.

“From 31 January all tourists, visitors and residents travelling from or through the UK and arriving in Dubai must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test which was taken no more than 72 hours before departure and present the certificate at check-in.

“Travellers may also be required to undertake a further COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai and will have to isolate pending the result of the COVID-19 PCR test.”

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