Arrivals from the United Arab Emirates, Rwanda and Burundi will be banned from entering the UK from 1pm today as the government extends its ‘red list’ to 33 countries.
British, Irish and third party nationals with residence rights in the UK will be exempt but must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival.
Test to Release, that enables self-isolation to be cut short after five days with a negative Covid test, is not available for people returning from a red list country.
There will also be a flight ban on direct passenger flights from the UAE.
“The decision to ban travel from these destinations follows the discovery of a new coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa, that may have spread to other countries, including the UAE, Burundi and Rwanda,” the Department of Transport said.
The move to put UAE on the red list could see social media influencers’ scurrying back to the UK.
Several influencers have been posting pool-side images from Dubai – all in the name of work – which has drawn sharp criticism from UK politicians, including Home Secretary Priti Patel, and sparked debate over what constitutes essential travel.
For the moment, returning travellers from the UAE, Rwanda and Burundi will be able to self-isolate at home, with the government’s hotel quarantine scheme yet to be implemented.
More details of the new system will be released next week.