It was a case of ‘easy come, easy go’ for anyone planning a trip away from Bahrain as some countries eased restrictions and others tightened them up in the topsy-turvy world of airline travel during Covid-19 times.
Bahrain has been added to a ‘green list’ of countries whose passengers will be exempted from mandatory 10-day quarantine upon their arrival in the UAE.
Other GCC countries featured on the 18-strong list include Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar whilst further afield New Zealand, Thailand and China, where the virus first erupted, make the warm welcome mat.
The UK, however, is tightening border controls to block new variants of Covid-19, suspending all ‘travel corridor’ arrangements that had meant arrivals from some countries, like Bahrain, did not require quarantine.
The rule changes came into force at 4am today and mean all passengers must have a recent negative coronavirus test and transfer immediately into isolation upon arrival.Isolation lasts for 10 days, unless the passenger tests negative after five.
The UK has already felt the effects of mutations in the virus, after a variant first discovered in England has proved to be more transmissible.
Britain’s current lockdowns ban most international travel meaning that airline schedules are currently minimal, but the withdrawal of any quarantine-free travel will be a further blow for an industry already on its knees.
Currently national carrier Gulf Air flies daily to and from London Heathrow but that is subject to change.
UK-based airline easyJet said there was no immediate impact but in a statement added: “We need to ensure that travel corridors are put back in place when it is safe to do so.”
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of industry body Airlines UK, called for plans to relax travel rules by Easter, before the peak spring and summer holiday period.
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