Dubai: FCO travel alert for UAE as strict new rules for holidays amid coronavirus unveiled

Coronavirus cases are on the rise across the world and affecting the holiday plans of countless Britons. Dubai is a popular destination at this time of year but holidays to the hotspot could be thrown into chaos as the deadly virus grips the country. So far, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reported only 86 cases of coronavirus.

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However, the UAE is taking drastic measures to crack down on the spread of the virus.

On Saturday, the country announced new restrictions on travel.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has subsequently updated its travel advice to Dubai and other destinations in the UAE.

“On 14 March the UAE announced new restrictions on travel stating that from 17 March, the UAE will temporarily suspend the issuance of all visas, with the exception of diplomatic passport holders,” stated the FCO on its website.

“As of 15 March, we understand the UK is included in a list of countries for whom visa on arrival is still available but you should check with your travel provider before travel.

“Visitors and returning residents may be tested on arrival and be required to self-isolate. Please see further guidance on coronavirus precautions under Health.

“Ordinarily, if you’re travelling on a British Citizen passport, you can get a visitor’s visa on arrival in the UAE.

“This visa allows visitors to stay in the UAE for up to 30 days. The visa terminates automatically on departure and a new visa is issued on arrival each time the visitor returns to the UAE. Please check with your carrier before travel.

“For a fee, visitors already in-country can extend their visa twice without leaving the country. Each extension is for an additional 30 days.”

The FCO added: “You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the local authorities.

“This could include enhanced medical screening on arrival, with the potential for further follow-up health measures and restrictions.

“You should be aware that public health measures and restrictions in the UAE may change quickly and may be significant.”

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Flights

The FCO explained that flights have been affected by coronavirus.

“Some routes to and from the United Arab Emirates by air, land and sea have been suspended. You should check with your travel provider before travelling,” said the government.

However, neither Emirates nor Etihad list UK airports on their cancelled flights lists.

Cruises

Cruise ships have been prevented from docking in the UAE.

TheFCO said: “We understand that passenger cruises are currently not allowed to dock in the UAE as a result of measures taken to combat coronavirus.

“The Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) has adopted an enhanced member health policy which all CLIA ocean member cruise lines are required to follow to address the coronavirus.

“If you are planning to travel on an international cruise that is due to call at any port in the UAE, contact your travel company for the latest information.”

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