Ban on direct flights from UAE to Scotland is lifted

British citizens arriving in England from the Emirates will still have to enter quarantine in a hotel

A grounded fleet of British Airway planes sit on the runway at Glasgow Airport. Getty
A grounded fleet of British Airway planes sit on the runway at Glasgow Airport. Getty

A ban on flights from the UAE to Scotland was lifted on Friday, UK authorities announced.

From 4am on April 9, direct flights between the countries were allowed, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said.

But direct flights to England, Wales and Northern Ireland are still prohibited.

Scotland is still advising against all but essential travel. Holidays are not a legal reason.

The UAE ison Scotland's "acute-risk countries list", meaning that anyone who flies from the Emirates to Scotland will have to enter managed quarantine for 10 days on their arrival.

Scotland added Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines to its list of acute-risk countries, coming into effect from 4am on Friday.

British and Irish citizens, and third-country citizens living in the UK, arriving in England from the UAE will still be required to enter hotel quarantine.

Other visitors to the UK who have been in or transited through the UAE in the previous 10 days will not be permitted entry.

The Foreign Office continues to advise against all but essential travel to the UAE.

This week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the country could be lifted into stage two of its road map to normality.

But he was accused of “kicking the can down the road” after he refused to give details on the return of international travel.

He said Britain should not "underestimate the difficulties that we're seeing in some of the destination countries".

The lack of clarity disappointed Britain's biggest airport and travel companies, which said the tourism sector was on the brink of collapse.

Ministers last week proposed a traffic-light system, which would rank countries according to their inoculation rates and Covid-19 numbers.

Virus passports are another idea backed by many tourist-dependent countries and airlines, but more than 70 British members of Parliament are opposed to them.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said the government would ensure there was a system governing Covid-19 passports when international travel resumed.

From Monday, lockdown rules will be relaxed so that many pupils can return to the classroom for the first time since Christmas.

Groups of two from different households will be able to meet outdoors.

The UK has administered more than 31 million vaccinations and five million second doses at a pace that far outstrips that of popular holiday destinations such as France.

But scientists said the effect of vaccinations on virus transmission was still unclear. The said a third wave of the coronavirus was possible if most restrictions were lifted on June 21 as planned.

Updated: April 9, 2021 12:05 PM

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