Coronavirus: UAE extends visit visas of British tourists for free after travel ban

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The United Arab Emirates said it will extend the visit visas of British tourists after a decision was taken by the United Kingdom to implement travel restrictions on flights from the country.

“As for British travelers affected by this decision, the UAE will extend their visit visas free of charge, in light of these new circumstances,” read a statement published by the Emirates News Agency.

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Britain on Tuesday announced an outright travel ban on non-citizens arriving from the UAE and severe quarantine measures for citizens coming in from there to stem coronavirus cases, hitting Dubai holidaymakers and expatriates.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the UAE has been added to the government’s “red list” along with Burundi and Rwanda from 1.00pm (1300GMT) on Friday.

Any British or Irish citizens and third country nationals with residence rights returning from the Gulf state will be required to isolate at home, or in a hotel for 10 days.

Everyone else is banned completely, and the government also announced that direct flights between Britain and the UAE were no longer allowed.

“The cornerstone of our fight against the pandemic has been PCR testing, awarding the UAE the highest testing rate per capita globally. In light of new variants in other parts of the world, the UAE has intensified efforts to mitigate these risks,” Hend al-Otaiba, Director of Strategic Communications at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said in a statement.

“New measures include requiring PCR tests for incoming travelers, imposing restrictions on entertainment venues, further limiting gatherings, and implementing awareness campaigns for the general public in a transparent and open manner,” al-Otaiba added.

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