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Britain puts UAE on Red List; flight services are banned

LONDON: The UK has banned flights from the UAE. The UK Red List includes direct flights from the UAE to seven emirates, including Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Travel to the UK from the UAE, Burundi or Rwanda has been banned as part of the prevention of the spread of the COVID variant found in South Africa.

Passengers who are not citizens or permanent residents of Ireland or the UK who have passed through these countries within the last 10 days will not be allowed to enter the UK. British, Irish citizens, or other citizens with the right to reside in the UK can still enter the country, but will have to isolate themselves at home for 10 days. Those with a negative COVID test are also not allowed to reduce their isolation period.

Dubai International Airport has announced on Twitter that it has suspended direct flights between the UAE and the UK, as announced by the UK government.

The suspension will apply to all flights scheduled to arrive in the UK after 13:00 UK time today. As part of this, all people and family members who arrive within 10 days from 4am on Friday from the UAE, Burundi or Rwanda will have to isolate themselves. The “test to release” scheme should not be used to reduce the quarantine period, officials said.

“Passengers must still have proof of a negative test and completed Passenger Locator Form before arrival – or could otherwise face a £500 fine for each,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that returnees from the ‘Red List’ countries and UK citizens will be required to stay on quarantine for 10 days in government-provided accommodation. However, the government has not yet revealed when the hotel quarantine scheme will come into effect.

The UK Red List now includes 33 countries, including those in South America and large parts of South Africa and Portugal.

With Britain including the UAE on its red list, there are indications that the European Union may take a similar step. If flights via UAE to European countries are canceled, it could create a crisis for hundreds of people, including Indians.

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