UAE extends visit visas for British tourists affected by travel ban

UAE intensifies testing to mitigate risks against new Covid-19 variants

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The UAE extended visit visas without charge for British travellers affected by the UK's decision to suspend flights from the Emirates.

On Thursday, the UK added the UAE, Rwanda and Burundi to a "red list" of 30 countries subject to a travel ban.

Direct passenger flights between the UK and the UAE will be suspended from Friday and non-citizens will be barred from entering Britain from the Emirates.

The UK government said the decision was prompted by evidence of the spread of a coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa.

But the UAE would "maintain its role as an important travel and logistics hub while adhering to the highest standards of health and safety", state news agency Wam reported.

Hend Al Otaiba, director of strategic communications at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, said the cornerstone to the UAE's fight against the pandemic was PCR testing.

"In light of new variants in other parts of the world, the UAE intensified efforts to mitigate these risks," Ms Al Otaiba said.

"New measures include requiring PCR tests for incoming travellers, imposing restrictions on entertainment venues, further limiting gatherings, and implementing awareness campaigns for the general public in a transparent and open manner.

"We are confident of our ambitious vaccination programme, which is ranked second globally in doses administered per capita, and have every confidence in our medical infrastructure and front-line workers."

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