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The New Arab Staff

UAE could stay on UK's travel red list 'indefinitely'

The UAE is known as an international transit hub [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 April, 2021

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The UAE might stay on the UK’s red list due to its status as an international transit hub.
The UAE could remain on the UK's travel "Red List" over coronavirus concerns, which could cause problems for the 240,000 or so Britons currently living in the Gulf state.

"We're not restricting the UAE due to the level of coronavirus in the UAE," said the UK's Transport Secretary Grant Shapps at an aviation event. "The issue is one of transit."

The UAE has the world's second-fastest vaccination campaign after Israel, which has seen falling Covid-19 rates sparking frustrations from some in Abu Dhabi.

"Leaving us on the 'red list' for reasons of transit doesn’t make any sense because (passengers) can just go through other hubs," Emirates' President Tim Clark said at an online event.

"It compromises our United Kingdom operation for Emirates. It's a real pity if they keep us on the red list."

In comparison, the UAE infection rates are falling to around 2,000 cases a day.

The UK's 'Red List' includes India, which has recently had the biggest spike in Covid-19 cases in one single day since the pandemic began.

Britons who live in the UAE will have a tough time traveling back to the UK. Currently, government guidelines state people travelling from countries on the red list must quarantine for 10 days in a government-approved hotel.

They will have to pay for their hotel quarantine, which will cost £1,750 for one adult for 10 days, with an additional £650 for an extra adult or child staying in the room, and £325 for a child aged 5-11.

An online petition to remove the UAE from the UK's red list is approaching 10,000 signatures.

"I want the Government to remove the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from the Red Ban List by the summer, so that travellers can visit the safe country without needing to quarantine in a hotel on return," wrote the creator Mikail Aziz.

"I believe this would be the right thing to do because the UAE is a very clean country and has the facilities to keep the environment as safe as possible. This should make the disease less transmissible. If quarantine is needed, then this can be done at home. The Government should definitely consider this as it benefits us as public to enter the country for valid reasons."

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