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Hopes rise for return of UK tourists to Dubai and South Africa

Hopes rise for return of UK tourists to Dubai and South Africa

Talks are taking place to pave the way for air travel corridors from the UK to Dubai and South Africa, say reports.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, told Bloomberg TV that a plan to open up reciprocal air travel between Dubai and London is ready and could be implemented once approved by the respective governments.

He said testing and quarantine requirements have been agreed by hubs and airlines, and the decision about implementation lies “in the hands of politicians”.

The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office currently advises against non-essential travel to the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is part.

UK travellers must quarantine for 14 days on their return, and risk invalidating their travel insurance.

However, from Tuesday (October 27), arrivals in Dubai from the UK will no longer need to take a PCR test before departure – reducing the risk of not receiving their results ahead of their scheduled departure.

Instead, they can take a test on arrival at Dubai Airport and receive their results back within 24 hours – during which time they can quarantine in one of the city’s hotel rooms.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s tourism minister said she hopes the country’s borders will be opened to all countries before the Christmas holidays.

Eyewitness News reports that Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said that the government assesses its high-risk list each fortnight and she hopes the bans will be lifted to help boost South Africa’s economy.

The UK, along with several other European nations, is on the high-risk list because of its rate of Covid-19 infections.

• Elsewhere, The Daily Telegraph has reported that visitors from the UK will not be required to present a negative Covid-19 test certificate in order to enter Costa Rica, from November 1.

Instead, travellers must complete an online health assessment and provide purchase proof of an insurance policy that covers medical expenses and accommodation in case of quarantine.

The UK Foreign, Commonweath and Development Office currently advises against all non-essential travel to Costa Rica.