The United Kingdom has announced it is banning direct flights from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), shutting down the busiest international flight route in the world, according to reports.
The UAE, Burundi, and Rwanda have been added to the U.K.'s COVID travel ban effective Friday at 13:00 GMT.
"From tomorrow (Friday 29 Jan at 1pm), we’re extending our travel ban with the United Arab Emirates, Burundi and Rwanda all added to the UK's red list," U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapp tweeted on Thursday.
"This means people who have been in or transited through these countries will be denied entry, except British, Irish and third country nationals with residence rights who must self-isolate for ten days at HOME."
Flights to London from the Emirate hub of Dubai will be suspended, crippling the international route that has seen the most passenger traffic so far in 2021.
"Border closures caused by COVID-19 made Dubai to London the world’s busiest international route in January, with 190,365 scheduled seats over the month," Reuters reports, citing aviation analytics firm OAG.
The move comes as Germany mulls shutting down all international flights - a drastic policy which Israel has already implemented.
On Jan. 24th, the Israeli government announced a "ban on incoming planes to Israel except for cargo flights, firefighting flights and flights for emergency medical evacuation," which will remain in place until at least Jan. 31st.
Many European countries are implementing stricter travel controls as the 'COVID crisis' drags on.
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