The United Arab Emirates has been removed from the UK government’s travel corridor list, the transport secretary has said.
It means that anyone arriving in England, Wales or Northern Ireland from the federation of states, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, from 4am on Tuesday must self-isolate.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted to say a 52% rise in new coronavirus cases meant the decision to remove the destination had to be taken “immediately”.
A statement from the Department for Transport said: “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%.”
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Scotland had already announced that similar measures will be imposed for anyone arriving from the UAE on or after 4am on Tuesday.
It had confirmed that anyone returning to Scotland from Dubai on or after 4am on Monday would have to self-isolate.
The UAE is made up of seven Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al-Quwain, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.
The Foreign Office is advising against all but essential travel to any of these destinations.
In December, the isolation period for those returning from high-risk countries was shortened from 14 days to 10.
Under current 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, Wales or Scotland.
This includes UK nationals and failure to comply will result in an immediate £500 fine.
National lockdown restrictions in England mean everyone must stay at home unless travelling for a very limited set of reasons, like work or care responsibilities.
Holidays or international travel is banned unless for work or other legally permitted reasons.
Those in breach of the rules face penalties starting at £200, rising to a maximum of £6,400.
A number of countries have banned travel to and from the UK altogether as they try to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus variant.
Meanwhile, the UK government has banned all direct flights to South Africa over concerns of a second variant of the virus.
It was announced in December anyone returning from there will have to isolate for 10 days.
© Sky News 2021