The UK government recently scrapped the need for pre-departure PCR tests…

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 Jan 5, Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport of the United Kingdom confirmed that:

As of 4am (GMT) on Friday, January 7:

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Passengers from India, the UK and other countries must now hold a 48-hour validity PCR test
Random PCR test-on-arrival reintroduced at DXB airport
  • The UK no longer requires fully-vaccinated passengers and those under the age of 18 to take a pre-departure PCR test in the country from which you’re departing
  • Fully-vaccinated passengers & under 18s will still need to take a PCR test but no longer need to self-isolate whilst waiting for post-arrival results if arriving after 4am Friday, January 7

As of 4am (GMT) on Sunday, January 9:

  • 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