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UK Lockdown 2020: How Does It Affect Travel To And From The UAE?

As new coronavirus variant has escalated the infection rate in the UK, the UK government has imposed a Tier 4 lockdown in London and southeastern England. 

On Sunday, December 20, 35,928 new coronavirus cases were recorded in the UK breaking all the previous daily records. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that this new variant of the virus was “getting out of control”. The virus is predicted to be 70% more communicable. 

The British authorities have urged people not to make any unnecessary travel. 

The UK government has divided the kingdom into four tiers considering the virus threat. Among the four tiers, Tier 4 is forced with strictest regulations to contain the transmission of the virus, with the people in the tier area asked to remain in the home unless it is very essential to come out.

More than 40 countries have banned travel from the UK as a precautionary step to avoid the mutated Coronavirus strain which was first seen in south-east England in September.

Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands and Belgium announced, on Sunday (Dec. 20), to halt flights from the UK concerning the spread of a new variant of coronavirus. Various other countries also have suspended the UK arrivals. 

Likewise, on Monday (Dec. 21), some of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman have put a hold on the flights from the UK. The UAE, as for now, has not stated anything about restricting the UAE arrivals.

However, the UAE Embassy in London has advised the UAE nationals in the UK to follow the precautionary measures issued by the British government issuing an advisory. The embassy has also asked the UAE citizens in the UK to register for the ‘Tawajudi’ or ‘My Presence’ service. 

How does the UK lockdown affect travelling to the UK from the UAE?

While all non-essential travel is discouraged by the British authorities, the Emirates and Etihad flights are operating as scheduled.

As per an Emirates spokeswoman, the flights to and from the UK are full. But, the UAE government, too, has urged its citizens against non-essential travel. Many airlines are also offering generous rebooking options. For instance, Emirates Airlines permits passengers to use their ticket 24 months from the date of the original booking. 

If one has to travel to London, he/she must complete an online passenger locator form before arrival in the UK. It is required for some passengers to practice self-isolation for 10 days after arriving, however, this condition does not apply to the passengers travelling from the UAE. 

How does the UK lockdown affect passengers travelling to the UAE from the UK?

To the passengers holding Dubai visas, there must be a return approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs to make the flight back to Dubai. But visa holders from other Emirates should acquire entry permission from the Federal Authority For Identity And Citizenship through uaeentry.ica.gov.ae. Travellers to Abu Dhabi must quarantine for 14 days.

Recently, there has been an update in rules by Etihad demanding passengers to forward a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours validity of their flight departure time. This new rule will come into effect on December 24 and is applicable to both – the travellers flying back to the UAE from the UK and travellers transiting via Abu Dhabi. 

When will the UK lockdown end?

The length of the lockdown will be reviewed on December 30. Until then, the lockdown rules are mandatory to follow in the United Kingdom.

Image: Pixabay

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