//UAE added to ‘red list’

UAE added to ‘red list’

News follows announcement regarding plans for managed isolation in hotels

Visitors from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Burundi and Rwanda have been banned from entering the UK as the government extended its ‘red list’.

Passengers who have been in or transited through the countries in the last 10 days will no longer be granted access to the UK.

The measure comes into force at 1pm on January 29, 2021, but British, Irish and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK will be allowed to enter. However, they are required to self-isolate for 10 days at home, along with their household. Passengers returning from these countries cannot be released from self-isolation through Test to Release.

There will also be a flight ban on direct passenger flights from the UAE, which includes the popular winter sun destination, Dubai.

The decision to ban travel from these destinations follows the discovery of a new coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa, that may have spread to other countries, the government said. Any exemptions usually in place will not apply, including for business travel.

It follows new measures announced by the government to minimise travel across international borders, including managed isolation in hotels and the need to declare a reason for travel. More details on these measures will be set out next week.

There were an initial 30 countries on the “red list”, which include all those in South America, as well as large parts of southern Africa and Portugal.

ABTA said it added to a “mountain of existing measures for travel”.

A spokesperson said: “We understand the government’s need to introduce temporary additional restrictions in response to emerging new strains of the virus, but this needs to come with support for the jobs and businesses affected and a clear roadmap forward for travel.

“It is now 12 months since the travel industry started to be affected by coronavirus, yet the government has still not provided any tailored financial support to the sector. Jobs are being lost at an alarming rate and longstanding businesses have gone to the wall. The lack of financial support targeted at addressing the consequences for businesses of international travel restrictions needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

“The government needs to work with the industry to develop a route forward for reopening travel, reviewing all of the existing measures and coordinating with overseas governments. While the vaccine rollout is positive, the industry cannot wait for the whole UK adult population to be vaccinated before travel restarts – and businesses cannot afford to lose another summer. We also know that many people have a desire to get back to experiences that they value highly and have missed dearly, including travel to visit family and friends abroad.”