The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has rejected the UK's decision to include it on the red list of countries from where travel to the UK is banned. According to the travel ban, flights coming from the Emirates are no longer allowed on British territories.
Hend Al-Otaiba, director of the Strategic Communication Department at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, announced: "The cornerstone of fighting the pandemic is the PCR tests and the UAE recorded the highest test rate per capita worldwide."
The official Emirates News Agency (WAM) quoted Al-Otaiba stating: "In light of the new changes taking place in the world, the UAE has intensified efforts to mitigate the risks."
The Emirati official explained that these measures include requiring incoming travellers to submit a negative PCR test, imposing restrictions on entertainment spaces and public gatherings and launching awareness campaigns.
Al-Otaiba pointed out that the UAE will extend the duration of visitor visas for UK travellers affected by this decision, without additional fees.
On Thursday, British Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps reported on Twitter: "From tomorrow (Friday 29 Jan at 1 pm), we're extending our travel ban with the United Arab Emirates, Burundi and Rwanda all added to the UK's red list."
Earlier, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that the new and stricter rules will apply to travellers from "the red list countries, where we have special concerns about the new variants" of COVID-19.
The UK has added 33 countries to its red list, whose citizens are banned from entering British territories.