Keeping UAE on UK red list makes no sense: Expats


Reuters file
Reuters file

Dubai - Currently, only UK and Irish nationals and UAE residents with UK residency can travel to the European nation directly

By SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Thu 15 Jul 2021, 11:07 PM

UK expats are disappointed that the UAE is still on the UK’s red list of countries despite a government review.

James, creative director, who was scheduled to leave for the UK on July 24, was clearly frustrated. “I received a message from the Emirates stating the flights has been canceled,” he said.

“The UAE has left no stone unturned in curbing the spread of Covid-19. Besides rigorous testing, it is also among the top nations in terms of vaccinations,” James added. “Keeping the UAE on the red list is unbelievable,” he added.

ALSO READ>>> Covid-19: UAE stays on UK’s red list

The UK expat, who has been living in the UAE for the last 15 years, has not met his family in the UK for over two years. He said his 3-year-old son is waiting to meet his grandfather in the UK, whom he hasn’t seen in the last two years. “We had planned a family vacation, but now I have to accept the fact that I will not be present at the gathering,” he said.

Currently, only UK and Irish nationals and UAE residents with UK residency can travel to the European nation directly - but they will have to quarantine in a hotel on arrival.

“If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residency rights in the UK,” the UK government’s website states.

People traveling to the UK can, however, opt to holiday in an amber or green country for 11 days prior to their arrival in the UK. But many UK expats believe that this is not a feasible option as they will still be away from their families.

“Quarantine in the UK is very expensive. We have no choice for accommodation. I learned that we will have to pay 1750 Pounds (Dh8500) per person for a 10-day quarantine,” he added.

Alexia Lawrence Jones, client services director, Brazen MENA PR is disappointed with the update, as she had been waiting to reunite with her family and friends since January last year.

“It’s really frustrating to see the UAE among the red-listed countries by the UK. The UAE has the highest number of vaccinated residents, and is also among the top nations in conducting Covid tests,” she said.

She said it was ironical that while the UAE strictly follows all Covid protocols, the UK is doing away with curbs as seen in the recent Euro Cup finals held there. “I am frustrated with the Euro Cup final. The stadium was full to capacity, with no social distancing and spectators without masks,” she said. “In the UAE you have to wear a mask at all times, and yet it is on the red list…. hard to believe,” she added.

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