The United Kingdom has announced a ban on direct passenger flights from the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE was added to the country’s travel ban list on Thursday alongside Burundi and Rwanda due to rising COVID-19 cases.

UK adds UAE to travel ban list

As of today, January 29, all non-British or Irish passengers, excluding third-country nationals who have residence rights in the UK, will not be permitted entry to the UK if they have transited through the three above countries.

Meanwhile, those who are Irish and British citizens and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK can enter the country but are required to self-isolate for 10 days at home.

“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, including the UAE, Burundi and Rwanda,” the UK government’s statement said.

Etihad and Emirates suspend flights

Dubai-based airline Emirates announced that all its UK flight routes to Birmingham, Glasgow, London and Manchester would be suspended from Friday.

Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad has also suspended all flights to the UK.

How long will the travel ban last?

No date has been given as to how long this travel ban will last and Emirates and Etihad have suspended their UK flights “until further notice”.

Dubai updates travel regulations

It was announced on Wednesday evening by the Dubai Supreme Committee for Crisis and Disaster Management via the Dubai Media Office that new travel regulations would come into effect on Sunday, January 31.

Firstly, all UAE citizens must do a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival in Dubai no matter which country they have travelled from.

Meanwhile, all UAE residents, GCC citizens and visitors will now be required to undergo a pre-travel COVID-19 PCR test regardless of where they are travelling from and the validity time of tests is now 72 hours, reduced from 96 hours.

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