The repatriation flights will run from two airports in the UK…

On Friday, UAE travellers were caught unawares when the UK added the UAE to its travel ban list with only a few hours’ warning. Now, Emirates has announced that it will be operating one-way passenger flights from the UK to Dubai, starting tomorrow, to help repatriate UAE citizens and residents.

Emirates updated its website with the news, saying: “From 2 February 2021, we will operate passenger flights to Dubai from London Heathrow and Manchester.

“Customers seeking to leave the UK on these services should ensure that they are authorised to travel under the latest UK government rules, and meet the travel requirements of their final destination.”

UK-UAE travel ban

In announcing the ban on all arrivals from the UAE, the UK’s Department of Transport said: “The decision to ban travel from these destinations follows the discovery of a new coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa, which may have spread to other countries, including the UAE, Burundi and Rwanda.”

The UAE travel ban does not apply to British and Irish nationals, or passengers with UK residency rights, who are permitted to return to the UK via indirect flights. These passengers will be required to quarantine for 10 days, and must present a negative PCR test and completed passenger locator form before arrival.

Emirates flight cancellations

Emirates has extended its temporary suspension of flights to South Africa, until February 12, 2021. According to Emirates, this move is “in line with recent government directives that restrict the entry of travellers originating from South Africa, into the UAE”.

Emirates has also temporarily suspended flights to and from Sao Paulo, Brazil, from February 1 to 10, inclusive.

For travellers to Dubai, it’s worth noting that the new entry requirements came into effect on January 31. You can read the full list of requirements here.