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Coronavirus

UAE on UK’s COVID-19 travel amber list: All you need to know

Published: Updated:

The UAE, along with Bahrain, Qatar and India have been moved from the UK red list to the amber list in the latest review of the British government’s traffic light system for international travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.



Here is what you need to know.


What is the amber list?

Countries designated as amber are countries which have a COVID-19 situation less safe than green list countries. The UK government uses a variety of factors to decide this, including vaccination rates, case rates and the presence of variants.


What do the new rules mean for travelers from these countries wanting to visit the UK?

This means that these who visit these countries will no longer have to book a quarantine hotel package for when they travel to England.


Will I still have to follow any quarantine rules?

For residents in these countries, or those who have visited an amber country in the ten days prior to traveling to the UK, the government rules stipulate that you must take a COVID-19 test three days before you travel to England and complete a passenger locator form before arrival. The UK government website states on arrival, travelers from amber countries have to isolate at home or in the place they are staying - such as a hotel - for ten days and take a COVID-19 test on or before day two of your arrival and on or after day eight.

However The Telegraph previously reported, that from August 1 British expats who have been fully vaccinated abroad will be able to travel to the UK from amber list countries without quarantining. Ministers wanted to change the rules so that anyone who has received a foreign vaccine can register it with their GP and not have to quarantine. These rules have not yet been reflected on the UK government website.


What about fully vaccinated UK residents?

Fully vaccinated UK residents can follow these amber list rules: those who have been fully vaccinated or are under the age of 18 need not quarantine and must simply present a negative lateral flow test prior to departure and take a PCR test within two days of arrival in the UK.

Unvaccinated travelers will have to quarantine at home for 10 days and take a COVID-19 test on days two and eight after arriving back in England or pay for an extra test on day five to finish self-isolating early.


When do the measures come into effect?

All changes will come into effect at 4 a.m. on Sunday August 8.


What else was announced?

In the latest review, four destinations were also downgraded from amber to red - Georgia, Mexico, La Reunion and Mayotte - necessitating returning travelers to book an 11-night hotel.

Read more:

UK moves UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, India to COVID-19 travel amber list

Saudi Arabia candidate for UK ‘green list’: Travel experts

UK easing travel curbs for foreign-vaccinated expats from amber countries on Aug 1