Israel, UAE weigh travel corridor after speedy Covid-19 vaccine roll-outs

Israel leads the race to vaccinate its population.
Israel leads the race to vaccinate its population.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

DUBAI (BLOOMBERG) - Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which have the world's fastest inoculation programmes, have started talks to establish a quarantine-free travel corridor for people who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Middle Eastern nations aim to implement the agreement in April, according to the UAE's state-run news agency. The corridor will facilitate travel for commercial, tourism and official purposes.

The talks come as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to travel to the UAE on Thursday (March 11), his first known visit to the Gulf country after they normalised their relations last year.

Israel and the UAE last year agreed on 28 direct weekly flights connecting Tel Aviv with Abu Dhabi and Dubai before Israel barred foreign flights to limit exposure to new virus strains.

Israel leads the race to vaccinate its population. It has fully inoculated more than half its residents, while the UAE is on track for that goal by the end of March. Cases in both countries have fallen from a peak in January.