UAE could stay on the UK’s travel ‘red list’ indefinitely, and mixed messages are stoking confusion

UAE could stay on the UK’s travel ‘red list’ indefinitely, and mixed messages are stoking confusion [ad_1]

Dubai is understood for its fashionable structure, together with the Burj Khalifa, which at 2,700 ft tall is almost twice the top of the Empire State Building.

Fraser Hall | The Image Bank | Getty Images

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The United Arab Emirates’ probably indefinite standing on the U.Okay.’s “red list” for travel has stoked anger and confusion, made extra unsure by the newest statements coming from the British authorities.

Britain’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps indicated the UAE would possibly stay on the U.Okay.’s purple record as a consequence of its standing as a global transit hub, regardless of its falling an infection tendencies and the world’s second-fastest vaccination marketing campaign.

“We’re not restricting the UAE due to the level of coronavirus in the UAE,” Shapps advised an aviation occasion on Wednesday. “The issue is one of transit.”

The feedback drew sharp criticism from Emirates’ President Tim Clark: “Leaving us on the ‘red list’ for reasons of transit doesn’t make any sense because (passengers) can just go through other hubs,” he advised a current on-line occasion. “It compromises our United Kingdom operation for Emirates. It’s a real pity if they keep us on the red list.”

Being on the U.Okay.’s purple record comes with a excessive value, and has actual penalties for the 120,000 Brits residing in the Gulf nation and their relations. It requires anybody coming into the U.Okay. from a purple record nation to quarantine in a government-approved resort and cowl their very own lodging and meals prices for 10 days, at a price of £1,750 ($2,428) per particular person.

“If anyone asks me about home, I cry,” mentioned one British citizen working in Dubai who hasn’t seen her household in the U.Okay. since mid-2020. 

“The ambiguity is unbearable,” mentioned the supply, who requested to not be recognized due to skilled restrictions. “It is much easier to establish and maintain balance in your life when you make a plan — the U.K.’s interchanging positions make that impossible and it’s so detrimental to people’s well-being.”

People wait their flip to get vaccinated towards the coronavirus at a vaccination middle arrange at the Dubai International Financial Center in the Gulf emirate of Dubai, on February 3, 2021. The UAE has administered not less than three million doses to greater than 1 / 4 of its inhabitants.


The U.Okay. purple record, which bans air travel or forces a pricey quarantine on arrival, at present names 40 excessive danger nations deemed too harmful to travel, together with India, which has seen new infections skyrocket to over 300,000 instances a day. 

The UAE stays on the record, regardless of an infection charges falling to round 2,000 instances a day. Abu Dhabi, in the meantime, has positioned the U.Okay. on its personal “green” record of travel nations.

CNBC has reached out to the U.Okay.’s Foreign Commonwealth Office for remark.

Growing assist 

A petition to take away the UAE from the U.Okay. purple record had obtained over 8,500 signatures as of April 26, reflecting a rising frustration over the travel restrictions and the value of quarantine for one among the world’s busiest air travel routes. 

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

The U.Okay. authorities is required to reply if the petition receives 10,000 signatures or extra. 

“You need to reconsider Dubai being on the red list. Most of the UK citizens who work there are fully vaccinated and should be allowed to travel to the UK. They could take a PCR test before and on arrival.” Twitter person @DawnWilson2606 tweeted to U.Okay. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Any choice to take away the UAE from the purple record is additional difficult by the distinction in restrictions between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The UAE’s most populous emirates have enforced separate entry, travel, testing and quarantine guidelines since the begin of the pandemic — regardless of being lower than a two-hour drive aside.

Red record removing ‘as quickly as it’s possible’

Amid the criticism and confusion over the newest travel restrictions, there are indicators the predominantly-expatriate desert sheikhdom of 10 million could but be faraway from the purple record.

“We are working very closely with the UAE authorities to ensure that we can remove the UAE from the red list as soon as it is feasible,” mentioned Simon Penney, the U.Okay. consul common to Dubai and commerce commissioner to the Middle East. Penney’s feedback got here on April 21, the similar day as Shapps’ suggestion that the UAE could stay on the purple record.   

The U.Okay. authorities is anticipated to evaluation its ban on non-essential worldwide travel from May 17, but it surely’s unclear what locations will obtain the tick of approval.

Commuters cross London Bridge at dawn on March 1, 2021 in London, England.

Hollie Adams | Getty Images

“It is too early today to say which countries will be on the green list and which ones won’t, and we will need to wait until early May before we have any further clarity,” Penney mentioned throughout an interview with a Dubai radio station

“The decisions taken are driven by data and science, and key to this includes the rollout of the vaccine, the number of daily cases, and the prevalence of harmful variants,” he added.

The U.Okay. Foreign Office mentioned it “advises against all but essential travel to the whole of the United Arab Emirates based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.” The UAE is outpacing most of the developed world on its vaccine rollout with virtually 40% of its inhabitants totally inoculated.

“Visitors arriving into the U.K. who have been in or transited through the UAE in the previous 10 days will not be permitted entry,” an April twenty fifth advisory mentioned.

‘A travel hall price reopening’

“Countries’ positions on each other’s lists don’t have to be reciprocal,” Rob Willock, director of the advisory service Economist Corporate Network, advised CNBC on Sunday.

“But considering the UAE and U.K. are second and third respectively on the global vaccination league table, both having administered at least one vaccine to more than half of their population, one might imagine this is a travel corridor worth reopening.”

The U.Okay., one among Dubai’s largest sources of vacationers and a important travel route for Emirates, took the UAE off its “safe travel corridor” in January, as instances in Dubai started to skyrocket following an inflow of U.Okay. vacationers in November and December. 

The UAE reported simply over 2,000 new infections on Saturday. The nation has administered 9.9 million vaccine doses to this point. 

U.S. travel warnings 

It’s not simply the U.Okay. that’s holding quick on opening up. The U.S. added greater than 100 nations to its “Level 4: Do Not Travel” record final week, together with Israel and the UAE.

“Things change, and they will change over time,” Willie Walsh, IATA director common advised CNBC when requested if the State Department acquired the advisories improper. 

Certain nations on the American record even have their very own restrictions towards travel by foreigners, whereas others will enable entry by air with proof of vaccination and a adverse Covid check or different standards. 

“We’re not suggesting that you just remove all restrictions now,” Walsh mentioned. “We’re asking governments to set out a plan to give an indication as to when they believe international air travel will start and how international air travel should operate when things do get moving again.”


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