Just as the at whole World was excited that the menace of Covid-19 was phasing out and Covid-19 recovery was underway globally, with some markets making stronger comebacks than others, then the new omicron variant has once again challenged progress.
As a result of this new variant of Covid-19, in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have tightened travel restrictions for people arriving from the UK, which experts say are expected but stand to hamper trade, tourism and business travel.
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Following the heightened fears over the new omicron variant, the UAE’s capital have removed the UK once again from its Covid-19 green list that allows for quarantine-free travel into the emirate. Touring the same path but more civil in approach, neighbouring Dubai reduced the amount of time a negative PCR test is valid for from 72 hours to 48 hours prior to flight departure.
John Grant, partner at UK-based consultancy Midas Aviation, told Arabian Business, in his words he said “Sadly we should expect such sudden changes in travel requirements and protocols for the next few months with countries frequently making unilateral changes to their entry requirements sometimes as part of a political response to some change elsewhere,”
It is worthy of note that before now, Covid-19 recovery was underway Worldwide, with major markets making stronger comebacks than others, but the new variant has once again suppressed this gain recovery progress.
“If there is any good news we are seeing things change quickly in many markets and these changes may be short-term in nature,” Mr. Grant said.
The aftermath of Previous Covid-19 restrictions had thrown global supply chain lines into disarray, and the effects across some markets has not gone out and can still be acutely felt today.
This Tighter restrictions only means one thing…lower flight volumes, leading to a decrease in tourism and business travel, Scott Cairns, founder and managing director of Creation Business Consultants, told Arabian Business.
Speaking further, Mr. Scott said, “industries will be affected – hospitality, entertainment, retail due to travel restrictions,” as a result.
Because most cargo is transported in the belly of passenger planes, shipping costs have historically seen a hike when passenger volumes fall.
Grant said that demand may be frustrated in the short-term, impacting consumer confidence “at a time when the industry needs to be working collectively to rebuild that confidence.”
But Grant added that for the larger regional network carriers may be less impacted than others.
Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association (BTA) told Arabian Business – and in his word “The UAE is a vital business travel destination. The new restrictions appear haphazard and are very damaging for international business confidence. We are urging governments to work together to create international protocols that allow for safe travel,” .