Words By Katya Pristiyanti

With the intensive regulations that have been put in place this year, travel has become one most people take for granted and one that is a priority for people after this pandemic. The longing for the sandy beach and warm weather becomes more excruciating in Brighton’s gloomy and cold climate. The amount of content on social media of these ‘staycations’ definitely amplified the need for a quick getaway.

The spike in Covid-19 cases in December has caused the UK to resort back to various travel bans and travel corridors – this being referred to as the red list countries. The recent update on the UK’s red list countries that are subject to a mandatory quarantine recently extended to the United Arab Emirates. This comes after the advent of various scenic snapshots of influencers on Instagram of their picturesque holiday to Dubai further inciting the influx of tourist travels.

Some familiar names to the influencer sphere include James Lock, Sophia Peschisolido, Sharidan Mordew, Chloe Ferry and more have since partaken in the travels to UAE. Upon a closer inspection of their Instagram posts, these influencers can be seen to tag different brands or organisations that affiliate them to the trip itself. With 11% of Dubai’s GDP coming from tourism, the ‘Visit Dubai’ campaign launched in July. To attract a younger market, they acquired top influencers to promote the campaign and promote the safety measures in place. 

Despite the glorious pictures and seemingly relaxing disposition that one could experience from a vacation to Dubai, this travel faced a large hurdle as the UK announced a travel ban. Towie cast members, James Lock and Yazmin Oukhellou, have not responded to their travel situation and have since given the message that they are not in any rush to return as they continue to post their activities in Dubai. Former Love Island contestant, Anton Danyluk acted on the opposite route as he was found to have deleted some content on his Dubai trip after fans criticised him.

Several criticisms emerged from this event centralising on the increase of excusing this travel as an ‘essential trip’ which negates the UK’s guidelines on international travel unless it is legally permissible and has been approved as ‘essential’. Sheridan Mordew faced this backlash as she claimed that her essential business trip to Dubai stems from her intention to ‘motivate’ her fans. 

The increase of coronavirus cases from Dubai has now subjected travellers from the UAE to the UK to follow suit with a hotel quarantine for 10 days. Information regarding this will be announced in the next coming days. Though it seems, for the time being, any need for a relaxing vacation has been halted. 

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