The UAE has been placed on the UK’s “red list” – meaning that direct flights will end and tough self-isolation rules will now apply to arrivals. Before the ban, flights between Dubai and London was the world's busiest air route in the world, with no less than 8 non-stop flights (up to 5 of them being on A380s) a day thanks to the travel corridor in November and December last year.

The UAE had been added to the 30 existing countries which are currently subject to a travel ban.

UK's transport secretary, Grant Shapps

From 13:00 on Friday 29th January, no passenger flights from Dubai or Abu Dhabi may arrive in the UK.

The move will cause chaos for many travellers hoping to return from or via the UAE. Thousands of people planning to travel back from Asia and Australasia will now see their onward flights from Dubai/Abu Dhabi cancelled.

British and third country nationals, with residence rights in the UK, will be allowed to return from the UAE but they will need to travel via a third country.

Below is from the UK Government website:

  • Entry to the UK is banned for visitors arriving from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Burundi and Rwanda from 29th January 2021 at 13:00 – British, Irish and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK will be allowed to enter.
  • From 04:00 on Friday morning all arrivals who have, in the 10 days before their arrival in the UK, been in these destinations, and their households, will have to self-isolate immediately and will not be eligible to use Test to Release.
  • The move is in response to new evidence showing the likely spread of a coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa.