New measures imposed as the number of cases rises in the UAE, a country that has become a hub for Europeans fleeing lockdowns.
The United Kingdom removed the United Arab Emirates from its list of travel corridors on Monday, following an increase in COVID-19 cases in the Gulf country.
The move went into effect Tuesday at 04:00 GMT and means travelers arriving in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from the United Arab Emirates must self-isolate for 10 days.
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) move came as a number of UK celebrities and social media influencers shared photos and videos of their vacation trips to Dubai, a city online. emirati known for its five star luxury hotels and beaches.
“The decision was taken following a significant acceleration in the number of imported cases, as well as the number of new cases reported in the past 7 days, which rose 52% in the UAE,” the DfT said on Monday. .
Under existing UK rules, passengers arriving from all international destinations, including the United Arab Emirates, must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to three days before departure for England or Scotland.
From 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday January 12, anyone arriving from #UNITED ARAB EMIRATES will need to self-isolate for 10 days.
Remember that national restrictions do not allow international travel, except for specific reasons.
– Department of transport #StayHomeSaveLives (@transportgovuk) January 11, 2021
The UAE has adopted entry requirements designed to boost tourism despite the pandemic, and hotels, restaurants and bars are open for business.
Last week, the Financial Times reported that the ‘party city’ Dubai, also the UAE’s trade hub, had become an ‘escape hatch as Europe locks in’, for tourists from the UK, France. and Russians fleeing strict social distancing restrictions.
Across the UAE, the number of new daily COVID cases has risen sharply in recent weeks.
The Gulf state is not revealing where the infections or deaths are occurring in the country and has not recently announced new measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
In total, it has recorded more than 230,000 cases and 711 deaths, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Authorities in the United Arab Emirates, which has a population of around nine million people, said last week that 826,301 vaccines had been administered as of Jan. 5, without specifying what type.
They added that the country aimed to immunize more than 50 percent of the population in the first quarter of this year.
Last week, Abu Dhabi began phase three clinical trials of the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
The UAE is also conducting phase three trials on a vaccine developed by the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm). The vaccine has been approved for use in the country and is available free to anyone who wants it, with priority given to those most vulnerable, according to the UAE Department of Health.
Dubai also started vaccinating people last month with the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech.
Meanwhile, in the UK, the number of recorded COVID cases has now risen to over 3.1 million. The country’s overall death toll from the pandemic stands at nearly 82,000 people – the fifth highest in the world.