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Tourists returning from Dubai – including some transit passengers – told to quarantine


Holidaymakers returning from Dubai, including many of those who flew home from other countries via the city, must quarantine in England from today.

The 10-day self-isolation rule has been introduced following a sudden rise in Covid cases in Dubai, which is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FDCO) is also advising against all non-essential travel to Dubai. It says there has been a sharp rise in the number of people in the city with the virus since the start of the year.

If you fly home from another country via Dubai, for example from the Maldives,  you might also have to self-isolate, even if you didn’t get off the plane.

The FCDO says if you make a transit stop you’ll have to self-isolate if new passengers get on the plane in Dubai or if you or other passengers get off and back on again.


Can I get a refund for my holiday to Dubai if I don’t want to go?

Tour operators are likely to cancel packages to Dubai following the FCDO advice against non-essential travel. If they do, you are entitled to a full refund within 14 days.

Travel companies aren’t necessarily refunding packages to other destinations, including the Maldives, even though the lockdown restrictions in the UK ban overseas holidays. Some say that they’re not obliged to cancel and refund unless the FCDO advises against non-essential travel.

Airlines might continue to operate flights to Dubai, in which case you might not be offered a refund. However, some airlines are waiving amendment fees so you might be able to change your flight for free, or they might give you a voucher for the full fare. It’s worth asking them.


Screening for all arrivals

Everyone arriving in England will have to present a negative Covid test taken within the previous three days from Friday. However, you’ll still have to quarantine when you return from Dubai – and all other countries not on the Government’s travel corridor list – even with a negative Covid test.

Linsey McNeill

A journalist and travel writer of 35 years' standing, a once-a-week yogi, terrible skier and out-of-order mum to 2 teens. Previously Editor of, bylines also include The Telegraph, The Times, The Observer, the London Evening Standard, Which? and The South China Morning Post.

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