Emirates and Etihad suspend flights following UK’s travel ban on UAE, Burundi and Rwanda

A travel ban will be in place between the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom from today.

UK is suspending direct flights from the UAE and the suspension takes effect from 1pm UK time January 29 today, the British Embassy in the UAE said. 

Britain’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps added that the UAE has been added to the government’s travel alert list along with Burundi and Rwanda.

“You will not be able to fly directly to the UK from the UAE after this time,” the embassy tweeted on Thursday in a move that will upset travel plans of not only British expats but many others.

The travel ban follows the discovery of a new coronavirus variant known as B. 1.351 first identified in South Africa, that may have spread to other countries, including Burundi and Rwanda and is believed to be 50 percent more contagious. 

Hence from 1pm today passengers who have been in or transited through the UAE, Burundi and Rwanda in the last 10 days will no longer be granted access to the UK.

The embassy has advised British nationals currently in the UAE to make use of indirect flights if they wish to return to the UK and to follow updates. 

Non-citizens will be barred from travelling to the UK from the UAE, and British citizens will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine. No exemptions will be allowed, including for business travel. 

Following the UK’s suspension of direct flights from the UAE, Emirates and Etihad are suspending passenger services between Dubai and all the UK points from Friday.  

Emirates which currently operates 36 flights per week from the UK to Dubai said flights to Birmingham, Glasgow, London and Manchester will be suspended from Friday. 

Etihad which is currently operating three flights daily between Heathrow and Abu Dhabi also announced suspension of direct flights between Abu Dhabi and UK airports.

Dubai Airport tweeted advising passengers not to go to the airport and contact their airlines for rescheduling the journey. 

The UAE noted the travel restrictions by UK and affirmed its commitment to the Collective  Global Effort to Combat. 

Meanwhile the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, UAE announced that it will extend the visit visas of British travellers affected by the UK's ban for free.