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.
The measure aimed at stopping the spread of the South African coronavirus variant comes into force from 1pm on Friday.
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. 1/3
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) January 28, 2021
British and Irish nationals, and people with residence rights, will still be able to enter the UK but must self-isolate for 10 days at home.
A number of influencers have visited Dubai in the UAE in recent weeks despite the UK’s ban on leisure travel, insisting their trips are for work purposes.
Direct passenger flights from the UAE to the UK will also be banned from Friday, causing major disruption to people returning from Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
The Department for Transport advised British nationals currently in the UAE that they can use “indirect commercial routes” to return home.
The announcement comes a day after Home Secretary Priti Patel hit out at influencers, stating there are “still too many people coming in and out of our country each day” despite the coronavirus lockdown.
She said: “We see plenty of influencers on social media showing off about which parts of the world that they are in, mainly in sunny parts of the world.
“Going on holiday is not an exemption and it’s important that people stay at home.”
Ms Patel launched a series of tougher border measures on Wednesday, including a requirement for people to declare their reason for leaving the UK, and increased police enforcement of the ban on holidays.
She also confirmed that people returning from “red list” countries will be taken to quarantine hotels for 10 days, but it is not known when this policy will be implemented.
This led to an angry response from travel firms demanding sector-specific support from the Government.