UAE and Qatar added to UK quarantine exemption list

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The Department for Transport has updated its list of travel corridors, removing the requirement to quarantine on arrival from a number of destinations including the UAE and Qatar.

Dubai-based Emirates said that it stood ready to increase services to the UK “to serve customer demand”, although this is unlikely to be until the end of the current lockdown in England (which currently extends until December 3), as this prohibits holidays in the UK and abroad.

Other countries added to the “safe” travel corridor list include Laos, Iceland, Cambodia, Chile, Bahrain and the British Overseas Territory Turks and Caicos Islands.

However, travellers arriving into the UK from the majority of Greek destinations (except for Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos and Kos) will now have to quarantine for 14 days. This requirement takes effect from 0400 on November 14.

In addition, the Denmark travel ban has been extended by a further 14 days, following the recent outbreak of coronavirus in mink farms in the country. British Nationals, visa holders and permanent residents returning to the UK directly or indirectly from Denmark will need to self-isolate along with all other members of their household for 14 days from the date they were last in the country.

There will be “a limited exception for a small number of Danish and Icelandic national football players to travel from the UK to Copenhagen and back”, to allow for upcoming Nation’s League fixtures to take place.

The DfT said that data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England indicated a consistent increase in newly reported cases in Greece over the past two weeks, but added that the Greek islands of Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos and Kos “have not seen as significant a growth in cases over recent weeks as the rest of Greece and therefore remain on the travel corridors list”.

The UAE’s largest carrier Emirates has released the following statement regarding the changes:

“We welcome the UK’s decision to add the UAE to its list of countries where arriving travellers are exempt from quarantine,” said chairman and chief executive HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

“This is a positive development for the many people in the UAE who have been yearning to spend time with family and friends in the UK, and vice versa. It is also a recognition of the UAE’s effective response in containing the pandemic.

“We believe this move will benefit businesses and tourism, and Emirates is ready to reinstate more flight services between Dubai and the UK to serve customer demand.”

The Dubai-based carrier this week reported first half losses of $3.4 billion, with the Covid-19 pandemic bringing air travel to “a literal standstill” earlier this year.

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