Denmark suspends Dubai flights amid uncertainties in excess of virus assessments

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark has temporarily suspended all flights from the United Arab Emirates

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark has temporarily suspended all flights from the United Arab Emirates for five days just after suspicion arose that the coronavirus exams that can be received in advance of leaving Dubai are not dependable, authorities declared Friday.

The growth, which arrives amid a surge of infections in the UAE, poses a direct obstacle to the mass tests routine that experienced been the pillar of the country’s coronavirus reaction and financial reopening. Dubai was a person of the world’s to start with locations to open up up to visitors, welcoming readers from everywhere with only a coronavirus test.

Danish Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht claimed the selection was built to permit the issue to be extensively investigated and make sure that the testing are being carried out thoroughly.

“We cannot disregard this kind of a suspicion,” Engelbrecht mentioned, adding that the ban entered into power on Thursday night.

Danish authorities faced a “concrete and critical citizen inquiry into” how the checks are carried out at Dubai entry and exit points, he reported, and “therefore we want to be completely positive that there are no difficulties.”

Engelbrecht reported at least “one citizen” brought the South African variant of the virus “back from Dubai.” He did not establish additional that man or woman. Dubai has viewed an increase in the variety of South African citizens as the country’s economy deteriorated in current several years.

Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet claimed Friday there has been a next report of allegedly sloppy virus tests in Dubai, and cited Engelbrecht as expressing “the facts seem to be specific and valid.”

Given that Jan. 9, Denmark has demanded that all travellers arriving in the Scandinavian state have a adverse coronavirus take a look at or proof that they have not long ago had COVID-19, the disease prompted by the virus, to restrict the distribute of the virus.

The UAE’s International Ministry did not instantly react to an Associated Press ask for for remark on the flight suspension and the suspicions encompassing the virus screening.

On Jan. 8, Denmark’s International Ministry advised in opposition to all vacation overseas, which includes organization vacation. On Tuesday, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen explained to nearby media that “there is a explanation why we really question everyone not to journey. It’s genuinely vital that everybody listens.”

“There is a risk of bringing (virus) mutations to Denmark,” she stated. “It can undermine our epidemic regulate and thus infect some others and what is worse.”

In latest times, many Danish superstars, socialites and influencers — these kinds of as previous boxer Mikkel Kessler, previous soccer international Nicklas Bendtner and table tennis ace Michael Maze — have traveled to Dubai and posted photographs of by themselves on social media.

Lea Hvidt Kessler, the wife of the previous super-middleweight globe champion, wrote on Instagram that no a single in their family members that traveled to Dubai in advance of Christmas was infected. According to media in Denmark, there are now 85 Danish nationals there and about 800 long-lasting Danish inhabitants in Dubai.

On Friday, as the UAE shattered its 11th consecutive every day an infection report with 3,552 new cases, Dubai’s state-operate media business office announced strict new limitations on weddings, social functions and personal parties commencing upcoming Wednesday, restricting all gatherings to 10 quick household associates. Marriage get-togethers at accommodations and other venues beforehand experienced been capped at 200.

Dubai also announced an rapid halt to all “entertainment activities” on boats and floating restaurants — a common pastime in the town. Travellers and stars generally flaunt their holidays on social media, publishing pics of raucous, Champagne-soaked yacht events that have splashed across tabloids in current weeks. A day before, Dubai suspended all are living bands and performances at nightclubs and bars in the town just after hospitals were pressured to pause non-urgent surgical procedures to offer with an influx of new COVID-19 sufferers.

Travellers have flocked to Dubai in new weeks inspite of the raging pandemic, escaping lockdowns back household. The glimmering metropolis-point out, with an economic system largely constructed on tourism, aviation and retail, has promoted itself as an excellent pandemic vacation place. Apart from the ubiquitous masks and hand sanitizer dispensers, a sense of pre-pandemic normalcy prevails in the crowded bars, massive malls and luxurious resorts.

Skyrocketing each day bacterial infections, which nearly tripled considering that November, failed to dent the normalcy even as far more contagious variants of the coronavirus raced all around the globe. The United Kingdom, which like Denmark despatched droves of reality Tv and sports activities stars to Dubai, shut its travel corridor with the UAE earlier this month.

Considering the fact that the begin of the pandemic, the UAE has created its coronavirus response on an “early detection method,” applying Chinese-manufactured coronavirus exam kits to embark on 1 of the world’s most effective testing campaigns at a time when other nations have been battling to get hold of and administer PCR tests. As of Friday, the country of around 9 million experienced done some 24.2 million coronavirus exams.

The U.S. Point out Division formerly lifted problems that Chinese testing materials was not exact, without having providing proof about the allegation.


Associated Press writer Isabel DeBre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.