Friday, March 5, 2021

Denmark halts UAE flights for five days over COVID-19

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FILE PHOTO: Denmark’s national flag flutters in Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates said on Friday it was in contact with Denmark after it halted all flights arriving from the Gulf Arab state, a major travel hub, for five days due to potentially unreliable coronavirus tests in Dubai.

Denmark’s transport ministry said the travel restrictions follow suspicions that coronavirus tests that can be obtained in Dubai before departure are not reliable, and that it had taken the decision after a detailed tip-off, without elaborating.

“All accredited UAE testing centres are regularly subject to strict quality checks,” the UAE foreign ministry said, adding there are severe penalties for non-compliance with international standards to ensure the highest level of quality in testing.

The statement said the UAE was communicating with Danish authorities “to clarify the details and cases” behind the decision in order to guarantee the safety of all travellers.

Denmark earlier this month made it mandatory for travellers to show a negative test from the previous 24 hours on arrival from all countries.

Several Danish celebrities, including former footballer Niklas Bendtner, were criticized earlier this month after Danish media reported they had travelled to regional tourism hub Dubai on holiday despite the government advising against going abroad to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Additional reporting by Alaa Swilam in Cairo; Editing by Mark Potter and Alistair Bell)

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