Dubai became a popular holiday hotspot towards the end of 2020, due to its place on the travel corridor list and lack of quarantine for holidaymakers who could provide a negative Covid test on arrival. However, not only have travel corridors been axed, but the United Arab Emirates has also been placed on the Government’s “high risk” list of destinations.
As a result, travel between the UK and UAE is banned.
However, UK nationals and “people with residence rights” are permitted to return from the UAE if they take an indirect route.
What’s more, they will then be met at the airport and escorted to Government approved hotels where they will undertake their 10 days of self-isolation.
Britons who break the quarantine rules have been warned they could face a fine of up to £10,000 or a prison sentence lasting up to 10 years.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) provides updates and information for travellers.
On Friday, it provided a second new update to its “summary” section explaining the rules for those hoping to land in the UK from Dubai and the wider UAE.
“From January 30, visitors arriving into England who have been in or transited through the UAE in the previous 10 days will not be permitted entry,” explains the FCDO.
“British and Irish nationals and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in England from the UAE will be required to quarantine in a hotel.”
The list of people allowed to enter the UK includes holders of Indefinite Leave to Remain, holders of existing leave to enter or remain visas, holders of clearance or visas which grant such leave including students and workers, holders of EU Settlement Scheme visas, and those who have rights of entry under the Withdrawal Agreement.
“From 15 February onwards, everyone allowed to enter England who has visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the last 10 days must quarantine for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel, take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantine, and follow the national lockdown rules,” states the FCDO.
It further warns: “Providing false or deliberately misleading information when filling out your passenger locator form is an offence punishable by imprisonment.
“You could be fined up to £10,000, imprisoned for up to 10 years, or both if you do not provide accurate details about the countries you have visited in the 10 days before you arrived in the UK.
“If you break the quarantine rules you may face a penalty of up to £10,000.”
The FCDO states the United Arab Emirates, as well as the other nations on the “high risk” list, are facing travel restrictions in a bid to “stop the spread of potentially harmful variants into the UK”.
Those arriving into the UK must arrange their hotel quarantine prior to arrival.
According to the FCDO: “Your quarantine package will include your managed quarantine hotel, quarantine transport and your travel test package for COVID-19 tests on day two and day eight of quarantine.”
Arrivals must also complete a passenger locator form which will share details of any destinations they have previously been in.
The FCDO also provides information for travellers who need to fly from the UK back to the United Arab Emirates for “essential” reasons.
“Residents returning to Dubai still need to get approval before travelling. Those returning to other parts of the UAE no longer need to get approval,” explains the travel advice page.
“From January 31, all tourists, visitors and residents travelling from or through the UK and arriving in Dubai must have a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (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.
“Travellers to Abu Dhabi from the UK must have carried out a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of departure and received a negative result and will also be required to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival.
“Travellers entering Abu Dhabi are also required to wear a government-provided wristband, complete a minimum 10-day period of self-isolation or quarantine and, depending on the length of their stay, have up to two further COVID-19 PCR tests on day six and 12 after their arrival.”