Dubai is a hugely popular holiday destination for many Britons. However, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is currently struggling to fight the spread of coronavirus. The country has 98 cases so far but is introducing tough new rules to combat the virus.
Today, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued an urgent warning to those due to travel to Dubai and the UAE.
The government explained that the majority of visitors won’t be able to obtain a visa and so won’t be able to enter.
“From 19 March, the UAE will temporarily suspend all visas on arrival with the exception of Diplomatic passport holders,” stated the FCO in its latest updated travel advice.
“UAE Citizens and Residents are not impacted by this decision. You should contact your carrier for further information.
READ MORE: DO NOT TRAVEL: FCO advises Britons against all but essential travel
“Those who enter the country may be tested on arrival and/or be required to self-isolate.
“Ordinarily, if you’re travelling on a British Citizen passport, you can get a visitor’s visa on arrival in the UAE. This visa allows visitors to stay in the UAE for up to 30 days.
“The visa terminates automatically on departure and a new visa is issued on arrival each time the visitor returns to the UAE. Please check with your carrier before travel.
“For a fee, visitors already in-country before 19 March can extend their visa twice without leaving the country. Each extension is for an additional 30 days.”
The FCO added, regarding coronavirus: “You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the local authorities.
“This could include enhanced medical screening on arrival, with the potential for self-isolation, further follow-up health measures and restrictions.
“You should be aware that public health measures and restrictions in the UAE may change quickly and may be significant.”
The visa changes could, in reality, have very little impact on Britons, however, as the UK government today advised against all but essential travel outside the UK for 30 days.
“If you now need to change or cancel your travel plans, follow these steps,” said the FCO.
– Contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers
– Get in touch with your insurance provider
– Continue to follow the NHS coronavirus guidance.