The UK has added passengers from the UAE to its list of countries exempt from a 14-day quarantine requirement in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.

It means that, from Saturday at 8am UAE time when the change comes into force, travellers from the UAE will no longer have to quarantine for two weeks on arrival in the UK.

The announcement was made by the UK Ministry of Transport on Thursday.

The decision was welcomed by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum on Twitter, who said Emirates was ready to reinstate flights.

“We welcome the UK’s decision to add the UAE to its list of countries where arriving travellers are exempt from quarantine,” Sheikh Ahmed said on Twitter.

“This is a positive development for the many people in the UAE who have been yearning to spend time with family and friends in the UK, and vice versa.

“It is also a recognition of the UAE’s effective response in containing the pandemic. We believe this move will benefit businesses and tourism, and Emirates is ready to reinstate more flight services between Dubai and the UK to serve customer demand.”

The UK also moved to extend the quarantine measures for Demark by another 14 days after it was initially announced on November 7.

The decision is in response to the threat from a mutated version of COVID-19 found in humans and linked to mink farms. Last week, Denmark announced the COVID-19 mutation had jumped from mink to humans and infected 12 people in the country’s north.

Travellers from most of Greece other than the islands of Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos and Kos will also now have to isolate for 14 days because of a spike in cases.

Alongside the UAE, the UK also added the quarantine exemption for those coming from Iceland, Chile, Laos, Cambodia, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Bahrain and Qatar.