UAE to stay on UK's red list

British ministers move Ibiza, Majorca and Minorca - where many UAE residents had planned to visit - to its amber list

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The UAE remained on the UK’s red list on Thursday following a travel review by British ministers.

The UK unveiled changes to its green, amber and red travel lists on Wednesday night, days before the country lifts all internal coronavirus restrictions.

The UAE has been red since January 29.

It means only Britons and Irish living in the UAE, or those with residence rights there, can currently enter the UK if travelling directly - but they must quarantine in a hotel on their arrival.

Alternatively, they can choose to holiday in green or amber countries for 11 nights before travelling to the UK.

However, that became further complicated on Wednesday night after previously green destinations Ibiza, Majorca and Minorca, where many UAE residents had chosen to transit through on their way back to the UK, were moved to amber.

From next week, people fully vaccinated in the UK will no longer have to quarantine if returning from an amber country.

But anyone inoculated abroad will still have to quarantine at a chosen location.

That means anyone living in the UAE who was transiting through the Balearics to avoid quarantine on their arrival in the UK will have to now isolate for 11 days.

They do, however, have the option to shorten the period by opting to pay for a private test on day five via the test to release scheme, which can cost anywhere between £24.99 and £500.

It was hoped that the UAE would be moved to amber soon.

In early July, Paul Griffiths, the boss of Dubai Airports, predicted the Emirates would remain on the UK red list for "a bit longer" before moving to the next stage down.

No country has yet been moved from red to amber.

Updated: July 15, 2021, 8:13 AM