A passenger at Terminal 3, Dubai Airport. Image Credit: Karen Dias/Gulf News

London: Britain removed the United Arab Emirates from its travel corridors list following an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases, the UK Department of Transport said on Monday.

From 4am Tuesday, travellers arriving in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from the UAE will need to self-isolate for 10 days, the department added.

"The decision has been made following a significant acceleration in the number of imported cases, along with the number of reported new cases over the past seven days, which have risen in the UAE by 52 per cent." British transport minister Grant Shapps wrote in a tweet that latest data indicated the UAE should immediately be removed from the travel corridor list.

Under existing rules, passengers arriving from all international destinations, including the UAE, are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to three days before departing for England or Scotland.

The move came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain was in "a race against time" to roll out COVID-19 vaccines as deaths hit record highs and hospitals ran out of oxygen, and his top medical adviser said the pandemic's worst weeks were imminent.

Last week, Abu Dhabi started Phase III clinical trials of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.

On Thursday, Britain said it would extend a ban on travellers entering England from South Africa to other southern African countries to prevent the spread of a variant of the coronavirus identified in South Africa.