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The United Arab Emirates – a popular destination for British travelers hoping to avoid the lockdown in the UK – has been removed from the UK’s travel corridor. The decision means that those returning from locations in the UAE such as Dubai will now have to self-isolate upon return in the UK.

Sanctuary for many travelers during the pandemic, it’s a decision that is bound to have shattered the travel plans of many would-be holidaymakers. Here’s a closer look at the details of the decision, why it was made, and what the other countries on the UK’s travel corridor are.

downtown dubai pool

Why Was Dubai Popular For Travelers?

As the global pandemic was forcing many travelers to cancel plans and stay at home during the last year, life in the UAE’s most popular city, Dubai, very much resembled business as normal. Despite imposing a strict lockdown in the earlier months of the pandemic, the UAE has welcomed a multitude of travelers into its borders since it reopened on July 7th, and has weathered the Covid-19 storm better than most.

Whilst several European countries saw restaurants, bars and malls closed or subjected to strict restrictions in order to combat the spread of the virus that surged across the continent, Dubai saw such establishments remain open. Coupled with its stunning climate, picturesque beaches and low number of Covid-19 cases, it’s easy to see why so many flocked to Dubai to escape the reality back home.

dubai man mask

What’s Changed?

Despite enjoying low levels of cases for months, recent weeks have seen things take a turn for the worst. Cases of the virus remained below 1000 per day for much of the pandemic, yet began to pass that figure consistently in October. Recent weeks have seen case numbers rocket to almost 3000, with 2998 recorded on the 9th of January.

As many countries blocked the arrival of British tourists over fears of the more easily-transmissible strain that originated in the UK, the UAE continued to welcome them – to the extent that the Dubai-London Heathrow route is the most popular in the world at present – which may go some way towards explaining the sudden surge in cases.

visiting Dubai UAE during pandemic

Reacting the situation in the UAE, the UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Monday evening that it would be removing the UAE from the travel corridor arrangement. The decision will be effective as of 4 AM GMT on January 12th, meaning anyone arriving back in the UK after that time will need to self-isolate. The period of self-isolation will be 10 days. However, this can be reduced to five days following a negative Covid-19 test.

dubai covid

The UK’s Travel Corridor

Being on the UK’s travel corridor means that travelers from the UK can visit without needing to self-isolate upon return to their country. Whilst Dubai has been removed from the UK’s travel corridor, there are still several countries from all around the world that remain on it. Countries as diverse as Japan, Ireland, Norway, Thailand and Cuba can be found on the list, showing a range of options for UK travelers.

However, those hoping to travel must first check on whether countries on the list are currently accepting foreign guests. Many countries have closed their borders indefinitely to foreign travelers, whilst some have issued temporary bans to UK travelers.

uk airport passport check in

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Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox

Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories



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