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Petition To remove the UAE off the ‘Red List’ by the Summer

I want the Government to remove the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from the Red Ban List by the summer, so that travellers can visit the safe country without needing to quarantine in a hotel on return.

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I believe this would be the right thing to do because the UAE is a very clean country and has the facilities to keep the environment as safe as possible. This should make the disease less transmissible. If quarantine is needed, then this can be done at home. The Government should definitely consider this as it benefits us as public to enter the country for valid reasons.

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Government responded

This response was given on 11 May 2021

The decisions on the Red List are made by ministers informed by the latest scientific data and public health advice. This protects public health and the vaccine rollout from variants of COVID-19.

The government’s response throughout the pandemic has been to put in place proportionate measures informed by the advice of scientists, including taking decisive action where the public health risks are high.

The decision to place the UAE on the ‘red list’ of high-risk countries on 28 January with enhanced travel restrictions is to limit the importation of Variants of Concern to England. The government took this decisive action to impose additional measures on the UAE to protect the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme at a critical time. These measures permit entry to only British and Irish Nationals (and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK) arriving from high-risk (known as “red list”) countries and are also required to quarantine in government managed hotels. These are all temporary measures that are kept under constant review and the government maintains that they will only be kept in place whilst the level of risk justifies the measures.

Following the publication of the Global Travel Taskforce (GTT) in April, on 7 May the government announced the cautious reopening of international travel from 17 May. The new traffic light system will categorise countries based on risk to protect public health and the vaccine rollout from variants of COVID-19. The JBC produces risk assessments of countries and territories. Decisions on Red, Amber or Green list assignment and associated border measures are taken by Ministers, who take into account risk assessments by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), alongside wider public health factors. Key factors in the JBC risk assessment of each country include:

• genomic surveillance capability
• COVID-19 transmission risk
• Variant of Concern transmission risk

A summary of the JBC methodology is published on gov.uk, alongside key data that supports Ministers' decisions. This traffic light system will allow us to vary restrictions depending on the epidemiological risk and enable us to be flexible in responding to changes in risk levels.

We will not compromise on the progress we have made on our vaccine programme by allowing people to freely mix abroad and return or travel to the UK without proper checks and procedures. This is just the start for opening international travel, with the UK leading the way with a robust system.

As with all our coronavirus measures, we keep the Red List under constant review and our priority remains to protect the health of the UK public. Regular review points throughout the summer may allow us to further open up travel while safeguarding public health.

Department for Transport

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