British citizens travel to Dubai as UK lists the United Arab Emirates under ‘red list’

The British government has added the UAE to the ‘red list’, imposing travel restrictions due to an increasing rise in COVID-19 cases.

Despite several testing centres available and temperature checks enabled in public areas, including a massive roll-out of vaccines, cases in the country continue to increase are high rates.

Dubai recently announced the closure of pubs and bars until mid-April to contain the virus’ escalating spread and reduced people’s capacity at indoor venues back to 50% occupancy.

A resident in Dubai, Rachel Joseph, 19, says: “I don’t think these measures are very effective, maybe cases could reduce by just a few figures but not as much as it should.

“This may sound insane, but I think Dubai needs a month-long lockdown. I know the impact it has had on the economy before. Still, with the previous lockdown, cases dropped massively.”

Dubai has provided a fair amount of testing centres and over 120 vaccination locations. However, Ms Joseph continues: “There is no restriction of movement for those who have tested positive. Some who have tested positive refuse to quarantine and other get infected.

“Cities like Abu Dhabi and Sharjah have implemented a system where those who test positive are required to wear a watch that tracks whether or not they are isolating. I think Dubai should implement that.”

The UAE had an influx of British citizens when the UAE-UK air corridor opened up in December. Not imposing quarantine rules or the need for testing upon arrival, Dubai saw an enormous escalation of cases (over 4,000 cases daily).

Khushi Shah, an apprentice at CityOne Tourism, Dubai, says: “The arrival of British citizens especially ‘influencers’ into the UK just to get away from restrictions was not right on their part.”

Khushi Shah: Apprentice at CityOne Tourism

With the UK recently banning direct flights from the UAE, Ms. Shah added: “I find it was a selfish thought as there may have been families that were desperate to reunite before the travel restrictions kicked in. Sure, alternative flights are there, but long haul flights and layovers are really no joke during this situation.

“The more people to come into the city, the better for the economy. However, as a risk factor, I don’t think it is safe to allow any tourists, British or not, to come into the country without isolating or taking a covid test.”







Written by Michelle Almeida

Second year journalism student at the University of Sheffield

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