Denmark has temporarily suspended all flights from the United Arab Emirates for five days after suspicion arose that the coronavirus tests that can be obtained before leaving Dubai are not reliable.
Denmark has temporarily suspended all flights from the United Arab Emirates for five days after suspicion arose that the coronavirus tests that can be obtained before leaving Dubai are not reliable, authorities announced Friday.
The development, which comes amid a surge of infections in the UAE, poses a direct challenge to the mass testing regime that had been the pillar of the country’s coronavirus response and economic reopening. Dubai was one of the world’s first destinations to open up to tourists, welcoming visitors from anywhere with only a coronavirus test.
Danish Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht said the decision was made to allow the matter to be thoroughly investigated and ensure that the testing are being carried out properly. “We can’t ignore such a suspicion,” Engelbrecht said, adding that the ban entered into force on Thursday night.
Skyrocketing daily infections, which nearly tripled since November, failed to dent the normalcy even as more contagious variants of the coronavirus raced around the globe. The United Kingdom, which like Denmark sent droves of reality TV and sports stars to Dubai, closed its travel corridor with the UAE earlier this month.
Since the start of the pandemic, the UAE has built its coronavirus response on an “early detection strategy,” using Chinese-made coronavirus test kits to embark on one of the world’s best testing campaigns at a time when other countries were struggling to obtain and administer PCR tests. As of Friday, the country of roughly 9 million had conducted some 24.2 million coronavirus tests.