Dubai holidays: United Arab Emirates resumes direct flights to Scotland – FCDO update

Simon Calder details likely requirements for international travel

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The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has issued a new update for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the nation eases some travel restrictions with the UK. However, only Scotland is included in this latest update, with the UAE now resuming direct flights with the nation.

It comes as a step in the right direction for holidays, despite the fact international travel remains illegal under current lockdown restrictions in Scotland and the wider UK.

The United Arab Emirates remains on England’s “red list”, meaning UK residents and citizens are permitted entry to the country but must self-isolate in a Government approved hotel for 10 days.

The UAE is also on Scotland’s “acute risk” list, meaning arrivals must enter into a “managed quarantine” for 10 days upon their arrival.

In the latest FCDO update, the travel authority explains: “From 4am 9 April direct flights from the UAE to Scotland will no longer be prohibited.”

However, it adds: “Flights from the UAE to England, Wales and Northern Ireland will continue to be prohibited.

“Visitors arriving into the UK who have been in or transited through the UAE in the previous 10 days will not be permitted entry.

“British and Irish nationals and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in England from the UAE will continue to be required to quarantine in a hotel.”

The FCDO continues to advise against “all non-essential travel” to the UAE, including Dubai.

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Britons hoping to visit the UAE must also follow strict rules.

“All tourists, visitors and residents travelling from or through the UK and arriving in Dubai or Abu Dhabi must have a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test which was taken no more than 72 hours before departure and present the certificate at check-in,” the Government authority explains.

“Travellers arriving in Abu Dhabi will also be required to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival.

“Travellers arriving in Dubai may be required to undertake a further COVID-19 PCR test on arrival and will have to isolate pending the result of the COVID-19 PCR test.”

Travellers entering Abu Dhabi are further required to wear a “government-approved wristband” and complete a minimum of 10 days of self-isolation. Two further COVID-19 tests must also be taken on day six and day 12 after their arrival.

The FCDO adds: “Travellers who test positive for COVID-19 on arrival in the UAE will be required to quarantine for at least 10 days even if they had a negative COVID-19 PCR test before travelling.”

Though there has been no confirmation as to when holidays will resume for Britons, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated he “has not given up on May 17” as predicted in his roadmap out of lockdown.

However, holidays to the UAE and Dubai will only be permitted to resume if the nation’s risk is lowered to “amber” or “green”.

Under the Government’s “traffic light system” nations will be ranked as “red”, “amber” or “green” based on their coronavirus figures and vaccination roll-out progress.

Green-ranked countries would see travel allowed without restrictions, including Britons being given the go-ahead to skip hotel quarantine.

However, holidaymakers will be required to take a COVID-19 test at the airport when they return home, as well as follow any rules in place by their destination country.

Visitors to amber countries will also be required to follow testing rules, but may also face some form of quarantine on their return to the UK.

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