On-arrival PCR test rule at Dubai airports to change from August 1: Emirates


Dubai: Emirates airline has said that the on-arrival polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 at Dubai International Airport will be mandatory for passengers from only specific countries from August 1.

The airline has issued a list of 29 countries, passengers from where should undergo mandatory COVID-19 PCR testing upon arrival in Dubai from August 1.

Afghanistan, Armenia, Brazil, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Montenegro, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Serbia, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and some select airports in the United States.

The US airports included in the list are Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Orlando (MCO) — including passengers originating from California, Florida and Texas and connecting to an Emirates flight from any of the airports worldwide to Dubai.

Sources told Gulf News that Dubai Airports have added Turkey also to this list when it sent out the notification about the mandatory PCR test on arrival from August 1 to its stakeholders and partners on Saturday.

All passengers arriving from these points of origin must undergo the PCR test at Dubai International Airport as well as Al Maktoum International Airport, according to the travel protocol updates published by Emirates and Dubai Airports.

“From 1 August 2020, UAE citizens and residents will no longer need to take this test, unless they are travelling from one of the destinations listed above,” Emirates clarified.

All incoming passengers must produce PCR test report

This new rule related to on-arrival test will come into effect along with the latest federal rule that all incoming passengers to the country must produce a COVID-19 negative PCR test result from August 1.

In line with the federal rule, Emirates stated that “all passengers travelling to Dubai, including UAE citizens and residents, tourists, and passengers connecting in Dubai, must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate from August 1.”

“The test must be taken a maximum of 96 hours before departure. This excludes children under the age of 12 years and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability.”

“The test must be taken a maximum of 96 hours before you depart. This also applies if you have travelled from these points to another destination and connected to an Emirates flight to Dubai.”

The airline said passenger will not be accepted on a flight without a test certificate.

Labs approved for pre-departure tests

“If the UAE government has specified a designated laboratory in your country of origin, then you must get your certificate from that lab. You must bring a printed test certificate. A digital version on a phone will not be accepted,” it added.

While Abu Dhabi’s Eithad Airways has stated that all passengers bound for Abu Dhabi need to do pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test from the labs approved by Pure Health and as announced by the federal authorities, the list of labs approved for Emirates passengers as on July 25 continue to include labs approved by other governments of countries of origin of the flights as well.

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Emirates has issued a list of 29 countries, passengers from where should undergo mandatory COVID-19 PCR testing upon arrival in Dubai from August 1.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

It shows that passengers from countries such as India, Pakistan and Russia can do the PCR test from the labs approved by the government agencies in those countries.

Air India Express to accept test reports from various labs

Meanwhile, Indian carrier Air India Express has posted on its blog that it is accepting PCR test results from various labs.

“In addition to labs mentioned in Pure Health link, please note that all labs approved by the Indian government and Emirates airline are also acceptable,” the airline stated.

“All passengers are required to check the UAE government authority website for the latest updates on travel,” it added.

UAE airports are currently conducting PCR tests for all arriving passengers free of cost.

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