The new measures will be in place from 8am (UAE time) on Tuesday…

The UK has changed its travel rules again in light of the concern about the spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant. All travellers intending to journey to the UK from the UAE must take a PCR test before they board their flight. The new rules come into effect at 8am UAE time on Tuesday, December 7.

According to Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport of the United Kingdom, travellers aged 12 and upwards must take either a PCR or lateral flow test prior to flying to the UK. This ‘applies regardless of vaccination status’.

Those arriving into the UK must now, by law, take a PCR test on the second day of their arrival into the country and must self-isolate at their intended residence until a negative result is received.

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Omicron update: What the UAE is doing to tackle the new variant 

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said in a Tweet: “In light of the most recent data, we are taking further action to slow the incursion of the Omicron variant”.

Karen Dee, the chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, said: “This is a devastating blow for aviation and tourism”.

Residents, tourists and visitors travelling from or through the UK and arriving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test before departure and present the certificate at check in. These need to be taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure for arrivals to Dubai and no more than 48 hours prior to departure for arrivals to Abu Dhabi.

What is the UAE doing to help protect against this new strain

At the core of the response strategy, is a provision for everybody over the age of 18 that received their second shot of Pfizer or Sputnik V more than 6 months ago, to get a third ‘booster’ jab. The NCEMA added “the booster shot will also be provided for patients who have taken the Sinopharm vaccine.”

This booster programme will be rolled out via the UAE’s health authority apparatus. Priority will likely be given to the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases.

Images: Getty