There have been some changes…

In light of the transmission of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, a number of changes have recently been made to travel rules once again. If you’re intending on travelling between the UK and Dubai in the next coming weeks, here are the most up to date travel requirements from each country that you need to know.

Travellers from the UK to Dubai

Since January 2, passengers travelling from the UK to Dubai have been required to present a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test taken no more than 48 hours prior to departure. The tests cannot be NHS certificates nor home testing kits, and all test certificates must state the location of where the sample was taken.

Dubai International Airport (DXB) has reintroduced its random PCR testing for passengers arriving into the country. There is a select list of countries (UK not included) who will fit this category, however passengers arriving from alternative countries may be chosen to take a PCR test after passing through immigration at the airport.

Travellers from Dubai to the UK

In a series of Tweets on Tuesday, January 24, Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport of the United Kingdom confirmed that ALL testing measures for eligible fully vaccinated arrivals to the UK from 4am on February 11 will be removed.

In a video of him addressing parliament, Grant Shapps said: “We promised we wouldn’t keep these measures in place a day longer than necessary and it is obvious to me now that border testing for vaccinated travellers has outlived its usefulness, and we’re therefore scrapping all travel tests for vaccinated people.”

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Random PCR test-on-arrival reintroduced at DXB airport

According to the official UK government website, here’s what you need to know: 

As of 4am (GMT) on Friday, February 11:

  • ALL testing measures for eligible fully vaccinated arrivals to the UK from 4am on February 11 will be removed. This means no lateral flow testing on day 2 of your arrival into England. A (simplified) passenger locator form is still required.
  • Arrivals who are not recognised as fully vaccinated will only need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day 2 after they arrive in the UK.
  • Children aged 12 to 15 in England will be able to prove their vaccination status or proof of prior infection via a digital NHS COVID Pass from 3 February for outbound travel.
  • Travel changes come in ahead of February half term, and follow the success of the booster programme.

Requirements for those arriving into the UK before 4am on February 11:

  • Upon arrival into the UK, fully-vaccinated passengers and those under the age of 18 will now only need to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test, if arriving after 4am on Sunday, January 9 (no need to isolate prior to results)
  • If a lateral flow test shows a positive result, you are required to self-isolate and take an NHS PCR test to confirm the result, and follow the UK’s self-isolation requirements
  • Unvaccinated passengers will need to continue to take a pre-departure test, PCR tests on day two and day eight, and self-isolate for 10 days

Image: Getty