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Dubai removed from the travel corridors list with immediate effect

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The Government announced this evening that the United Arab Emirates has been removed from the ‘travel corridors’ list.

Anyone landing in the UK after visiting Dubai, Abu Dhabi or any of the other Emirates after 4am tomorrow (Tuesday) will need to quarantine for 10 days. This can be reduced to 5 days via the ‘test to release’ scheme.

The removal comes after a sharp rise in reported cases in the UAE over the last couple of days. The Scottish Government brought in its own block this morning after cases involving the Celtic football team which had taken a ‘training break’ in Dubai.

The official ‘travel corridor’ list, which already reflects this change, is on this page of the Government website.

Comments (96)

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  • Jack says:

    Good! There have been numerous people flouting the rules and going to Dubai for holidays. We are all in this together.

    • babyg says:

      it will mean nothing to the people who travelled there under lockdown, its just more government guidance that will be ignore. Unless of course the government actually enforce it, which history shows they wont.

  • Jonathan says:

    As long as they enforce it…

  • Nick says:

    I don’t think anyone with half a brain ever believed the case numbers coming out of the UAE… it is far, far worse than their regime portrays. About time the Government woke up and removed the travel corridor.

    As Jack said, quite right. “We are all in this together”.

    • marcw says:

      Don´t say that to the Dubai cheerleaders though 🙂

    • Blenz101 says:

      Nick – I’m not sure what evidence you have to back up your suggestion the UAE are making up their figures?

      All tests carried out are recorded against EmiratesID or a passport and both the number of tests conducted and cases identified published.

      Dubai has a very different population makeup than your typical country. 90% of the population consists of young healthy working age expats. People live within defined master planned communities. Compliance with the rules is pretty much universal. Private healthcare for residents is mandatory and world class.

      The above may mean there are lots of asymptomatic cases which don’t present. But the UAE is perfectly able to cope with the pandemic. Life here (masks aside) is pretty much back to normal.

      I know it’s fun to bash Dubai and call it a regime but reality is they are dealing with the pandemic far better than the U.K. Rules are clear, enforced and population compliant. 10% of the population already vaccinated as well.

      • Matt Smith says:

        100% this

      • Denis says:


      • GCC public sector says:

        Absolute rubbish. The stance taken by Abu Dhabi was representative of an effective containment measure and is in stark contrast to that of Dubai. Reporting of test results also not transparent in Dubai. Zero adherence to social distancing rules, especially in bars, beach clubs, swimming pools and restaurants – for which there are many.

        • blenz101 says:

          I don’t know what comparison you are trying to make between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The initial lockdowns were national, including the curfews and sterilisation drives.

          You say Dubai isn’t transparent yet the figures have only ever been published at a national level. There have been some local indications of hotspots with particular communities being locked down with zero travel in or out, the same being true for both emirates.

          You are also flat out wrong about zero adherence to social distancing rules. A few photos on Instagram from one notorious hotel is not representative of the city or country at large. Mask wearing is universal indoors and out unless seated at a table with your group (or in a swimming pool!).

          If you want to cite somewhere with relaxed rules in the UAE the northern emirates would be a far better target where things have been delightfully relaxed throughout the pandemic.

    • Rob says:

      My sister in law lives down there. The original lockdown was very tight (none of the messing about you get here) as indeed is enforcement now if you dare leave your front door without a mask. Throw in a culture based around people being outside virtually all the time at this time of the year and you wouldn’t expect huge numbers.

      You won’t catch it in the supermarket because virtually everyone gets groceries delivered. You won’t catch it in the pub because there arent any 🙂

    • Rob says:

      Of course we’re not. Are you suggesting that you, presumably – as a HfP reader – possibly sitting around in your large house working from home whilst picking up 100% of your large ‘London professional’ salary, with your BUPA coverage to fall back on should you fall ill – are ‘in it’ as much as someone working on the front deal as a bus driver, having to work closely face to face with other people every day, for minimum wage, with no private health insurance, living in a small room in a shared house with no garden somewhere?

      • Lux says:

        Quite so. Which raises a point best left to political philosophers about whether we show (and provide) support to those front line workers by avoiding behaviours that may increase the risk of their exposure, by increasing the prevalence of the disease in general. But this is HfP not Twitter, so I expect we’ll all agree to disagree. I come for the points not the banter 🙂

      • Aliks says:

        The government would like to deflect criticism by repeating the line “we all have to pull together” implying that its our fault that things are so bad because we did something wrong.

        The reality is that we won’t get through this unless the government:

        Makes good policy and effective plans

        Operates the plans efficiently

        Communicates well

        They are doing terribly on all these points, and that is why the UK infection and death rates are so bad compared to other countries.

        • Yuff says:

          Are the figures really that bad in comparison to other countries, I look at France, Italy Spain and they all seem very similar even Germany which has a very good healthcare system etc is struggling with this.
          Have the government done that badly, I don’t think so, people are tired of restrictions.
          Boris getting castigated for riding his bike 7 miles from home, by the press, contributes more to non compliance than anything else.
          The press prefer a sensationalist headline than reporting genuine news to help everyone get through this.

          • Rob says:

            When police are arresting people for driving 5 miles to go for a walk, whilst the PM drives 7 miles to go on a bike ride, that is genuine reporting.

          • Andrew says:

            @Rob well quite but the angle to take should have been “look how ridiculous Derbyshire police are being” rather than “boris thinks he’s above the rules”. I don’t particularly like the man but there was an awful lot of the latter

        • Olly says:

          @Aliks, might I suggest there is a lot who feel that we are in this situation, not so much because of the Government but because of the actions out large groups of society? From what I experienced in the capital a few weeks before this current spike, wherby swathes of groups of late teens/ early twenties members of society, failing to adhere to the basic of requests from the medical experts, not Government,on how to behave. Added to that the behaviour of those who mixed over Christmas and NYE because their needs were greater. I think it’s easy to blame the Government because it makes those people who didn’t comply feel better in themselves for “nipping out” when it wasn’t essential, or looking for workarounds to go on holiday. There’s plenty on HfP configured contributors I’ve seen do that. We were never going to stop the spread completely and that wasn’t the goal. The goal was to stop our front line workers, especially NHS staff being overwhelmed. Unfortunately, there’s too many selfish people whose personal priorities outweighs that if the many, though it’s not the Many who are suffering. And it’s those people who have contributed in their own little way to our mortuaries and funeral homes being full recently.

          • Aliks says:

            I respect your views, but I stand by my comments – in my opinion the government’s contribution to the problems far, far outweighs other factors.

      • Capt Hammond says:

        Excellent comment Rob. This site has turned into a parade of middle class professionals with comfortable lifestyles hectoring and lecturing everyone else without ever acknowledging the reality of life in the pandemic for many people.

    • Crafty says:

      My boss just came back from Dubai with Covid. He is doubtful, to say the least, as to the veracity of the testing they are doing.

  • BJ says:

    For some days now members of the Scottish Government and well-placed scientists and public health experts including members of SAGE have been openly suggesting the current lockdown could last months and substantial restrictions could last into the summer. There is a Scottish government meeting on tightening current lockdown tomorrow I understand so we may learn more about what is likely coming across the UK by the afternoon as, despite some small variations between nstions, the direction of travel is generally the same.

    • Harry T says:

      Boris needs to wait for Nicola to make a decision before he can copy it!

      • Si says:

        ctrl c ctrl v

      • BJ says:

        To be honest I’ve been of the impression that Boris himself has been in favour of adhering closely to the more cautious advice and recommendations from SAGE but his party have prevented him from doing so. He did mess up over DC though.

        • Ken says:

          “but his party have prevented him from doing so”

          Boris leading from the rear as ever. A time like this and we get a spineless, ditherer who just wants to be liked.

        • Jimmy says:

          Without DC to encourage him to do the right and unpopular thing he has gone back to is natural state.

        • Doug M says:

          Didn’t Heseltine say of Johnson “- a man who waits to see the way the crowd is running and then dashes in front and says, follow me.”

    • Andrew says:

      The constant changing of rules is what’s most annoying and is causing compliance fatigue amongst the general population. This national lockdown only started a week ago so it’s far too soon to tell if it’s having the desired affect. My county was in tier 3 for all of 16 hours before we were bumped up to 4. The incubation period of covid is 5-6 days on average so you wouldn’t expect to see any effect at all in less than that time and wouldn’t see any significant affect in hospital admissions for at least 2 weeks.

  • Brian says:


  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    BBC Scotland has the story behind the trip.

    Me, I sold my shares in Celtic – bought because I could understand investment guru Nick Train’s logic (he owns 20% of the club) – after their first lockdown breach was back at the start of the crisis.

    Management response then, and now, is pathetic.

  • mr_jetlag says:

    I think the whole travel corridors scheme is now just as fit for purpose as Eat Out to Help Out. Should be mandatory 10d quarantine and testing on arrival for any inbound flights.

    • Blenz101 says:

      Should really require prior approval to travel given the national lock down. Upload your evidence of essential travel documents to and get an approval code.

      Given such a system should have been developed months ago they could put the onus on airlines to check. Police could pull a percentage of passengers to check the evidence in place. If an airline has accepted a passenger without evidence then they should be fined and the passenger offloaded.

      Would solve the problem.

      • Mike says:

        Hey – that is a great idea. Pre- approved travel for an essential reason generating a code granting approval to book

      • bafan says:

        You should go and live in China and eat your heart out under an authoritarian regime. Most people like freedom (see pictures from the weekend, including our PM out and about 7 miles from his home).

      • TGLoyalty says:

        When did this become a totalitarian society?

        When you give it all up do you expect to just get it all back with the click of some fingers?

        • SteveD says:

          Depends on your interpretation of ‘freedom’.

          Freedom to drink and drive?
          Freedom to smoke on public transport?
          Freedom to knowingly infect someone with a deadly disease (and no, I don’t mean this one)?

          Freedom and Responsibility are 2 sides of the same coin. If you can’t be trusted with one, don’t expect the other.

          In other news -seen on Twitter:

          “I really think Nicola Sturgeon should resign. Not because she’s done anything wrong. It’s just that it would be comforting to know Boris will do the same thing two days later.”

          • BP says:

            What would actually happen is Boris tells wee nippy he’s about to resign and she would resign first to grab the headlines. She simply can’t resist any opportunity to grab the headlines. Horrible little woman.

        • Capt Hammond says:

          Many on here seem to be very keen to welcome a totalitarian society, unfortunately. But as Rob said, they will tend be the ones most cosseted from its effects…

          • SteveD says:

            That argument seems to be back to front – more restrictions helps those who are most exposed – less bus passengers equals less risk for the bus driver.

            These measures are intended to be temporary. If people followed the guidance, increasingly draconian legal provision would not be necessary.
            How would the libertarians have responded in WW2 I wonder – seeing as covid is now the highest cause of excess mortality since WW2, apparently? ‘I’m not putting my light out, you can’t make me’?

        • Paul says:

          When an 80 seat majority government was elected on around 43% of the vote!

      • Heathrow Flyer says:

        Maybe we should all carry around our papers when out and about? You never know when you’ll bump into the Stasi…

        • Blenz101 says:

          Well if the roads are as busy as ever and people continue to head to the airport for leisure travel despite it not being a legally valid reason for travel then putting a barrier in place seems a logical thing to do.

          One of the reasons Dubai got on top of things quickly (as well as the reasons I described earlier) is that the original short sharp lockdown was just that. A permit was required to be outside of your house and only so many were issued per hour. It wasn’t possible to meet up with others and it controlled the numbers in supermarkets.

          The UAE government wasn’t doing this just to take away the freedom of the population for fun. It was to protect people.

          As a result of these early and enforced protections I will be able to go out for lunch to a restaurant today, maybe go do some shopping in a mall later, have a pint in a bar and catch a movie. Good luck doing any of those things in the “free” U.K.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I think that’s also far easier to control when it’s 1 city and less than 10 millions people. Rather than a whole country and 70m people.

          • D00bizzler says:

            I think we can now all see the shambolic approach taken by the UAE. The authorities had plenty of warning as to what was coming, and did far too little to stop the spread from the thousands entering and mixing uncontrollably without precaution. Predictable. Unsure why the commentators here were backing the measures in place. Are you not aware of what goes in Dubai?????

    • Andrew says:

      Either you trust tests or you don’t.

      If you trust them then a negative test on arrival should be enough to let you get on with your life (as much as you can at the moment). Yes it’s not perfect since you could be incubating the disease but the same could be said of any random member of the public and having a negative test makes you far less likely than average to have it as long as UK cases are generally higher than elsewhere.

      If you don’t trust the tests then we have a far larger issue than a few people travelling abroad.

      • GeorgeJ says:

        Well put, though personally I am just as happy to take the test before travelling both to leave and come back.
        If I need to travel this is just part of the process.

  • Fred says:

    About time!!

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