LONDON: Britain has cancelled direct flights between the UAE and UK and ended measures for travellers coming from Dubai that exempted them from self-isolating for ten days.
British transport Minister Grant Shapps confirmed Thursday that the country’s travel corridor with the UAE, as well as Burundi and Rwanda, would close from Friday.
Shapps also blocked all direct flights between the UAE and UK, in an attempt to prevent the spread of new Covid-19 variants.
The UAE has experienced a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the country in recent weeks, fuelled in part by the loose restrictions.
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The decision to ban travel from these destinations follows the discovery of a new coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa, that may have spread to other countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Burundi and Rwanda.”
Social media influencers have flocked to Dubai in recent weeks, drawing the attention of ministers and the general.
Priti Patel, the British Home Secretary, said: “People should simply not be travelling.”
Foreign travel has been illegal in the UK since Jan. 5, aside from some exemptions, but Patel criticized influencers and models who “used loop-holes” to travel abroad.
“We see plenty of influencers showing off where they are — mainly sunny places,” Patel said. “Going on holiday is not a valid reason to travel.”