UK removed UAE from travel corridors list amid increase in COVID-19 cases

Travellers arriving in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from the UAE will need to self-isolate for 10 days

  
Passengers from international flights arrive at Heathrow Airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, July 29, 2020.

Passengers from international flights arrive at Heathrow Airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, July 29, 2020.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain removed the United Arab Emirates from its travel corridors list following a concerning increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases, the UK Department of Transport said on Monday.

From 4 a.m. Tuesday, travellers arriving in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from the UAE will need to self-isolate for 10 days, the department added.

"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%."

British transport minister Grant Shapps wrote in a tweet that latest data indicated the UAE should immediately be removed from the travel corridor list.

Under existing rules, passengers arriving from all international destinations, including the UAE, are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to three days before departing for England or Scotland.

The move came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain was in "a race against time" to roll out COVID-19 vaccines as deaths hit record highs and hospitals ran out of oxygen, and his top medical adviser said the pandemic's worst weeks were imminent.

Last week, Abu Dhabi started Phase III clinical trials of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine amid a surge in infections in the UAE. 

On Thursday, Britain said it would extend a ban on travellers entering England from South Africa to other southern African countries to prevent the spread of a variant of the coronavirus identified in South Africa. 

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis) ((Aishwarya.Nair@thomsonreuters.com; +91-8067494421;))

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