Travel bans extended as United Arab Emirates, Burundi and Rwanda added to red list to prevent spread of new variant

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(Last Updated On: January 29, 2021)

The Government has taken the urgent decision to ban travel to the UK from the United Arab Emirates, Burundi and Rwanda in order to prevent the spread of the new variant originally identified in South Africa into the UK.

From 1pm on Friday 29 January, passengers who have been in or transited through the United Arab Emirates, Burundi and Rwanda in the last 10 days will no longer be granted access to the UK.

This does not include British and Irish nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK, who will be able to enter the UK but are required to self-isolate for 10 days at home, along with their household. Passengers returning from these countries cannot be released from self-isolation through Test to Release.

There will also be a flight ban on direct passenger flights from the United Arab Emirates.

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 United Arab Emirates, Burundi and Rwanda.

Any exemptions usually in place will not apply, including for business travel.

British nationals currently in the UAE should make use of the commercial options available if they wish to return to the UK. Indirect commercial routes that will enable British and Irish nationals and residents to return to the UK continue to operate.

British nationals should check Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice and follow local guidance. The FCDO will continue to offer tailored consular assistance to British nationals in country in need of advice on a 24/7 basis.

Today’s action follows new measures announced by the Government yesterday to minimise travel across international borders and reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission, including managed isolation in hotels and the need to declare a reason for travel. More details on these measures will be set out next week.

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