Dubai to reopen soon
If you are looking for a winter break and want some certainty as well as some reassurance over COVID-19, Dubai could be the answer. While it is not to everyone’s taste, right now I would happily take a week on a beach pretty much anywhere that is open and safe!
Dubai have announced that it will reopen on 7 July for tourism and without too many restrictive measures. Personally, I think this strikes the balance of keeping Dubai safe from COVID-19 but without putting too many requirements that will put people off.
Here is what you will need to do:
- You will need to download the COVID-19 DXB app and registering your details on it
- Fill in a ‘Health Declaration Form’ before embarking,
- Ensure you have a valid health insurance in order to enter the country.
- Tourists must do a PCR test with a maximum validity of four days (96 hours) ahead of the date of departure. You will be required to show proof of not being infected with the virus on arrival at Dubai airports. If you cannot provide proof, they will undergo a PCR test at the airport.
- All arrivals will be subject to thermal screenings.
- If a traveller is suspected to have COVID-19 symptoms, Dubai airports have the right to re-test to ensure the tourist is free of the virus.
- It is mandatory for tourists who test positive for COVID-19 to register their details on the COVID-19 DXB app and isolate themselves at an institutional facility provided by the government for 14 days at their own expense.
Obviously there are still a few hurdles to clear such as the FCO advice, travel insurance and the 14 day UK quarantine. I would expect all of those to be resolved in the next couple of months. I definitely would not advise visiting the Middle East in the summer unless you like it very, very hot and humid. Last year Claudio and I went on a tour of Doha that started at 6pm and it was still about 43c when we started the tour!
If you are looking to go to Dubai, SeatSpy is showing good availability with Avios in business class on BA from October onwards. I have stayed in a number of Dubai hotels, but my top two were the Waldorf the Palm and the Park Hyatt.
Spain will not require quarantine for UK visitors
There were concerns recently that Spain may force UK visitors to spend 14 days in quarantine on arrival as a response to the UK government’s policy for all UK arrivals. As it was leaked last week that Spain is one of the countries in talks with the government about an “air bridge”, I was not surprised by the U-turn. This looks positive for the talks as Spain seems keen to have UK visitors. If an airbridge is agreed, they are expected to start on 4 July, at which point I would expect a change in FCO advice.
Spain’s foreign minister, Arancha Gonzalez Laya, announced the change of heart on Friday. Visitors can enter Spain now – although you still face quarantine when you return, plus travelling against FCO advice, travel insurance and it being against regulations to actually get to the airport unless for essential travel!
“We will allow British visitors to enter Spain just like the rest of the European Union or Schengen from June 21 freely and without the need for the quarantine,” Arancha Gonzalez Laya said.