Covid-19: UK to accept travellers with UAE-issued vaccine certificates

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Dubai - Starting October 4, travellers from the UAE can enter the UK, if they show proof of two Covid jabs, taken in the Emirates.


Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Wed 22 Sep 2021, 1:20 PM

Last updated: Wed 22 Sep 2021, 9:30 PM

Vaccination certificates issued by UAE health authorities will be accepted in the UK, Britain’s Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced on Wednesday.

Also read: UAE residents, Indian leaders slam UK's new travel policy

Starting October 4, travellers will be able to enter the UK if they show proof of two Covid jabs taken in the Emirates.

Must know: UK says it will simplify international travel rules

In response to Britain’s decision, the UAE’s Ambassador to the UK Mansoor Abulhoul, tweeted:

UAE-UK travel: British expats planning trips back home after rules ease

Last week, the British government announced that fully vaccinated travellers from 17 countries, not including the UAE, would have their vaccine certificates accepted by UK authorities. Currently, those travelling to the UK from the UAE are required to self-isolate for 10 days and take multiple RT-PCR tests during that time.

Covid-19: Travel demand for Dubai surges after UAE moves to UK's amber list

Shapps announced reforms to the existing UK travel protocols on September 17 wherein from October 4, fully vaccinated individuals from non-red countries do not need a pre-departure test before arrival in England. “From later in October, travellers will be able to replace the day two RT- PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow,” he explained.

Wednesday’s announcement has made it easier for UAE nationals and British expatriates to travel to the UK without the need for quarantine.

Residents interested in travelling to the UK will just have to show their vaccination status on Al Hosn app.

Shapps also confirmed that regardless of a child’s vaccination status, youths under 18 are exempt from self-isolation upon arrival in the UK.

James Cleverly, the UK’s Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, said on Twitter: “As international travel opens up, I am delighted that we have finalised arrangements with the UAE and will accept UAE vaccine certificates from October 4. Good news for businesses and families.”

Many ready to travel but still awaiting clarity: Agents

Travel experts have said air travel between the UAE and UK is set to soar in the coming weeks, especially for those who want to visit their loved ones.

While majority of British expatriates in the UAE are looking forward to returning home to their loved ones, many are still awaiting clarity on the list of pre-approved vaccines.

A total of five vaccines are distributed in the Emirates — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sputnik and Sinopharm. It is still unclear if all those who have taken any of the UAE’s vaccines would be covered by the relaxed procedures.

Travel experts have told Khaleej Times that more than tourists and corporate travellers, many of those currently planning trips to the UK are students who wanted to attend classes in their universities, and families and friends who wish to see their loved ones.

Sophia Tamang, a UAE-based travel expert, said: “At the moment, people are still applying for their visas and awaiting clarity on the processes. Since travel has just opened up, most of the people who are travelling are returning to meet with their loved ones.”

Tamang said very few tourists and corporate clients are making the trip at the moment.

“You also have some demand from parents who want to send their kids to universities in the UK,” she added.

“There is an anticipation that the demand could pick up in December, however, the travel regulations in this sector has always been very unpredictable. It is constantly subject to change.”

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