From 4am January 12, all travellers arriving into Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al-Quwain, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah have to quarantine for 10 days.
Shapps tweeted: “The LATEST data indicates we need to immediately remove the #UAE from the #TRAVELCORRIDOR list. From 0400 Tuesday 12 Jan anyone arriving from the UAE will need to SELF-ISOLATE.” He followed up with another tweet reminding people that all international travel is off the cards except for specific reasons. “Ignoring the rules costs lives,” he wrote. “Inconsiderate and selfish behaviour puts others at risk & is unfair to those following the rules to beat the virus. Stay at home. Save lives.”
Dubai is especially popular with holidaymakers from all parts of the UK and Northern Ireland. It was added to the government’s travel corridor in November 2020 and was an important market for operators and agents operating on very little income resulting from Covid restrictions.
A number of famous faces may be forced to self-isolate as a result of the new restrictions: in the last week, Geordie Shore’s Chloe Ferry and James Lock from The Only Way is Essex uploaded photos of them in Dubai, while Formula 1 driver Lando Norris announced on January 5 that he had tested positive for Covid-19 while on holiday in Dubai. Celtic footballer Christopher Jullien also tested positive after a training camp in Dubai, forcing manager Neil Lennon and 13 of the squad to self-isolate.
On its website, the Department of Transport said, “The decision has been made following a significant acceleration in the number of imported cases, along with the number of reported new cases over the past seven days, which have risen in the UAE by 52%.”
Incoming passengers will also have to present proof of a negative Covid test, along with their passenger locator form, before being allowed back into the country.