Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for the United Arab Emirates on the TravelHealthPro website
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in the United Arab Emirates.
Returning to the UK
Travelling from and returning to the UK
Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before travelling to the UK.
You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You should contact your airline – Emirates Etihad Airways or British Airways or local health authorities for Dubai and Abu Dhabi for information on testing facilities.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
Travel within the United Arab Emirates
COVID-19 cases continue to be recorded in the UAE and public health measures are in place in response to the outbreak. These can vary between each Emirates and the ease of movement between regions may be affected. The local rules may change, including at short notice. You should check them carefully before you travel and whilst you are in the UAE, and ensure you comply.
The UAE authorities have stated that any violation of instructions and procedures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 will be treated as a crime punishable by law.
With effect from 19 December 2021, Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has updated the procedure to enter Abu Dhabi emirate from within the UAE and approved the use of ‘EDE scanners’ at entry points. Potential positive COVID-19 cases will be referred to an on-site testing centre, where they will be given a free antigen test. More information is available on the Abu Dhabi Media Office website. With effect from 30 December, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has also updated the procedure to enter Abu Dhabi from within the UAE by requiring a ‘green pass’ on the AlHosn app for vaccinated individuals and a negative PCR test result received within 96 hours for those who are not vaccinated. More information is available on the Abu Dhabi Media Officer website.
Public spaces and services
Most shops, restaurants, tourist attractions and religious establishments across the UAE are open but there are restrictions and requirements in place to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing and the wearing of face masks is mandatory in most places when away from your home. This also applies to visitors staying in hotels when they are not in their room.
On 22 September 2021, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority announced that it is not mandatory to wear a face mask in certain places while keeping a safe physical distance of two metres. Click here for more information.
Most schools across the UAE reopened at the start of the 2021/22 academic year with a number of COVID-19 measures in place. Some schools may close or move to remote learning if there are outbreaks of COVID-19. In Abu Dhabi, students aged 16 years and above are required to be vaccinated to enter school.
Abu Dhabi Emirate has made it mandatory for residents aged 16 years and above and international tourists to have a “green pass” on the “AlHosn” app in order to access public places. A green pass is acquired and maintained by full vaccination and regular negative PCR tests. Medical exemptions from vaccinations and PCR testing may apply. The AlHosn app is the UAE’s official app related to COVID-19. Further information is available on the Abu Dhabi Media Office website.
Healthcare in the United Arab Emirates
You should keep up to date with local public health measures and comply with instructions. If you fail to do so you risk being fined or imprisoned.
Information about the UAE’s approach can be found on the website of the Ministry of Health and Prevention through its COVID-19 Information Centre. You can also keep up to date with information via official sources such as the UAE Government Portal, Dubai Media Office and Emirates News Agency.
If you develop coronavirus symptoms whilst in the UAE, you should contact your travel insurance or healthcare provider for further advice.
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health
View Health for further details on healthcare in the UAE.
See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.
COVID-19 vaccinations if you live in UAE
We will update this page when the Government of the UAE announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.
The UAE COVID-19 vaccination programme started in December 2020 and is using the AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sinopharm and Sputnik V vaccines. The vaccine used may vary in each of the seven Emirates. The Government of the UAE has stated that British nationals resident in the UAE are eligible for vaccination if they choose to join the programme.
Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad page. This page also includes links to Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) resources on vaccinating children and young people.
If you’re a British national living in UAE, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status.
If you need urgent consular assistance whilst in the UAE contact:
All telephone numbers are available 24/7.