After months of waiting and wondering, many UAE residents will be elated to hear the news the country has finally been taken off the UK’s red list.

In an announcement from the UK government on Wednesday evening, it was confirmed the UAE, along with Bahrain, Qatar and India, has been moved to the amber list under the country’s traffic light travel scheme. This comes into effect at 4am on August 8.

Since the scheme was implemented at the beginning of the year, the UAE has remained on the red list.

Per the UK government’s website, those who are fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival with the approved vaccines – Moderna, Oxford AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson – don’t have to quarantine if they are coming from an amber list country. However, this does not apply to UAE residents.

At present, the only approved sources of vaccination are as follows:

  • EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City, vaccines that have been approved by European Medicines Agency (EMA). Please note that other vaccines including the Sinopharm and Sputnik V vaccines are not accepted at this time
  • Monaco, Andorra and Vatican City vaccines that have been approved by European Medicines Agency (EMA)
  • Switzerland vaccines approved by the Swiss vaccination programme
  • UK vaccines approved by the NHS
  • USA vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Therefore, even if you’re fully vaccinated with one of the approved vaccines and you were inoculated in the UAE you will need to quarantine for 10 days at home in the UK. There is the option to partake in the ‘Test to Release‘ scheme, which involves paying for a private COVID-19 test on day five of your quarantine to shorten your self-isolation period.

Prior to travel to England, you will need to ensure you do the following:

Upon arrival, you will need to quarantine at home or the place you are staying for 10 days and also take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8. As mentioned, it is also possible to shorten this period by opting into the ‘Test to Release’ scheme.

Following the changes made to the UK’s red list, the UK’s Transport Secretary the UK governemnt was “committed to opening up international travel safely” with the aim of “helping conenct families, friends and businesses around the world”.

“While we must continue to be cautious, these changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public,” he added.

 The rules are similar UK-wide, but if you’re travelling to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland ensure you check the specific government websites for the latest up-to-date rules.

Visit the UK government website for the most up-to-date information. 

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