Denmark suspends UAE flights over virus test concerns
Copenhagen, Jan 22, 2021 (AFP)
Denmark is suspending flights from the UAE for five days over suspicions that virus tests and checks are not rigorous enough, the Nordic nation's transport minister said on Friday.
All air passengers arriving in Denmark need to show a negative virus test from the previous 24 hours, but Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht said Danish authorities want to be sure there were no botched screenings or tests that had been bought in Dubai.
"All commercial flights from the United Arab Emirates are cancelled for five days," he said in a statement, adding that it would give officials time "to ensure that the required negative test is a true screening that has been carried out correctly".
The flight ban will run from Friday until Wednesday, during which time Denmark will not accept any negative tests from the UAE.
While other tourist destinations are applying heavy restrictions to control the health crisis, Dubai has kept its doors open.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen issued a rebuke this week after several Danish celebrities visited Dubai.
"What happens when you travel at the moment is that you take the risk of bringing back mutations to Denmark, which helps undermine our control of the epidemic," she said on Tuesday.
Denmark imposed tight restrictions at the end of December to combat a spike in cases, and officials are worried about new fast-spreading variants.
Some 283 cases of the British variant have been confirmed along with one case of the South African variant, which involved a person who had stayed in Dubai.