To travel from UAE to UK and avoid the ten-day UK hotel quarantine, travellers can stay for 11 days in another country…

For the many people currently living in the UAE who are desperately waiting to return to the UK, it was disappointing news on Thursday, June 3. After the UAE was placed on the UK’s ‘red list’ for travel back in January 2021, many hoped that it would be moved to green or amber on the UK’s traffic light system for travel, however it remained on red.

Currently, those who wish to return direct from the UAE to the UK must, by law spend ten days in quarantine at a government-approved hotel, at the traveller’s own personal cost. UK and Irish residents returning from UK ‘red list’ countries, including the UAE, will have to pay £1,750 (approx. Dhs8884).

There is a way around it though. Many UAE residents wishing to return to the UK are opting to spend an 11-day stopover in one of the UK’s green or amber list countries for hotel quarantine-free travel, meaning they can effectively spend their ‘quarantine’ time exploring another country before flying direct to the UK

As there are not many countries on the green list that are actually accepting travellers (such as New Zealand and Australia), people are opting to spend 11 days in a UK ‘amber list’ country. This means upon their arrival to the UK, they can quarantine for ten days at home (rather than a hotel), with the option of the ‘Test to Release‘ scheme, in which you can pay for a private Covid-19 test to end your quarantine early.

Interested? Here are the top countries that you can travel to for your 11-day stopover… 

UK green list


You’ll find breathtaking scenery in the Nordic island of Iceland, with waterfalls, volcanoes, hot springs and so much greenery.

  • All vaccinated travellers from any country are able to visit Iceland, so long as they can provide a vaccination certificate or prove previous infection
  • There will be no need to take a PCR test before flying to Iceland, however you will need to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival which is free of charge

Iceland and UK

UK amber list



The beautiful island of Cyprus is the perfect destination for a relaxing Mediterranean beach holiday with crystal blue waters and gorgeous beaches.

UAE and Cyprus

Cyprus and UK 


Head to the sunny climes of Greece for your stopover, where you’ll be greeted by beautiful beaches, stunning architecture and incredible cities steeped in history.

UAE and Greece

  • Fully vaccinated passengers can travel between the UAE and Greece with no quarantine or PCR test, as long as they have their vaccination certificate
  • Non-vaccinated passengers can travel to Greece but will need to take a PCR test before departing from UAE
  • All passengers must fill out a passenger locator form before their arrival to Greece
  • Covid-19 testing will be undertaken at Greece’s borders

Greece and UK


Italy is recognized around the world for being one of the most chic Mediterranean countries, home to postcard places such as Venice and Rome.

UAE and Italy

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  • Fully-vaccinated travellers can travel between the UAE and Italy (as of June 1). Additionally, those who have had a negative PCR test 48-hours before departure can freely travel to Italy
  • Passengers will be required to take a Covid-19 test upon landing in Italy. You’ll need to book this online before your arrival
  • Passengers are required to fill out a digital locator form before arrival

Italy and UK



In Serbia you will find music playing in the streets and revelry on river barges with its friendly people, fresh air, hip bars, surprisingly great food, you’d be smart picking Serbia this summer.

Serbia and UAE 

  • Fully vaccinated passengers can travel between UAE and Serbia without having to take a PCR test or quarantine on arrival to one of the countries, due to the travel corridor that was opened on May 15
  • For those people not vaccinated, you will need to take a PCR test within 48 hours before your departure from Dubai

Serbia and UK

Images: Getty