Social media influencers hit by extension of travel ban to UAE

UK nationals and residents arriving from 'red list' countries will have to quarantine for 10 days. Credit: PA

Social media influencers have been hit by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) being added to the list of countries from which visitors are banned from entering the UK.

Burundi and Rwanda have also been added to the "red list", Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

It means visitors arriving from those countries will be banned from entering the UK from 1pm on Friday, January 29.

British and Irish nationals, and people with residence rights, will still be able to enter the UK but will be forced to self-isolate at home along with their households.

In a statement, the Department for Transport said: "From 1pm on Friday 29 January, passengers who have been in or transited through the United Arab Emirates, Burundi and Rwanda in the last 10 days will no longer be granted access to the UK.

"This does not include British and Irish nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK, who will be able to enter the UK but are required to self-isolate for 10 days at home, along with their household.

"Passengers returning from these countries cannot be released from self-isolation through Test to Release.

"There will also be a flight ban on direct passenger flights from the United Arab Emirates.

The measure aimed at stopping the spread of the South African coronavirus variant comes into force from 1pm on Friday.

A number of influencers have visited the UAE in recent weeks despite the UK’s ban on leisure travel, insisting their trips are for work purposes.

Fitness blogger Sheridan Mordew, appeared on ITV's This Morning on Tuesday defending her trip to Dubai at the start of January which she described as an "essential work trip".

She said: "The reason that I came out to Dubai was purely for business. I'm a personal trainer so a lot of the gyms are closed.

"So I took my business over to Dubai."

From 4am on Friday, all arrivals who had in the last 10 days been in those destinations will also have to self-isolate immediately.

The latest ban follows new measures announced on Wednesday that travellers arriving from certain countries will be forced to self quarantine for 10 days in government-provided accommodation such as hotels at their own expense.

Announcing the new law on Wednesday, Home Secretary Priti Patel said "too many" people are still entering the UK, despite lockdowns being in place across all four nations.

Speaking in the Commons, Ms Patel said: "[Arrivals] will be required to isolate for 10 days without exception and the Department for Health and Social Care will set out further details on this approach next week."