Coronavirus: Britons stranded by pandemic to be allowed to transit in UAE

UK diplomat praises work of UAE officials as Memorandum of Understanding agreed

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Chartered flights carrying stranded Britons home will be allowed to transit via the Emirates under a new deal between the UAE and UK.

UK ambassador the Emirates Patrick Moody praised the work of UAE officials in enabling the agreement.

UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said that "only by working together" would coronavirus be beaten.

Under the agreement, the flights chartered by the UK will be allowed to transit and refuel in the UAE on the way back.

The agreement was signed by Khalid Belhoul, UAE Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and Mr Moody.

The UK Foreign Office said its embassy in Abu Dhabi would work closely with the UAE government to bring the agreement into action.

"The UK government is doing everything it can to get British travellers stranded abroad home. This agreement – a result of the very close partnership between the UK and UAE governments – will help do just that, keeping vital transit options open," Mr Moody said.

“I am very grateful to my colleague HE Khalid Abdullah Humaid Belhoul and his whole team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation for their support and for our joint work to beat Covid-19.”

State news agency Wam reported: "The memorandum reaffirms the long-standing bilateral relations between the two countries and ongoing co-operation in all fields, asserting the commitment of both parties to all appropriate measures to prevent the further spread of the global epidemic."

In an “unprecedented” effort, hundreds of UAE citizens were repatriated from the UK in recent weeks as the coronavirus spread.

The UK's Prince Charles and Prime Minister Boris Johnson contracted the virus.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, was among those to wish them a speedy recovery.