Ghulam Haider :
Dubai has made Rapid PCR test mandatory for passengers coming from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda with immediate effect.
According to latest travel advisory by Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Rapid PCR test within 04 hours before departure is a must for passengers from the six countries from where travel restrictions eased by the UAE authorities on August 3.
The travel advisory further said that other conditions announced earlier on August 3 and August 4 will remain intact.
“A Rapid PCR test should be conducted at the departure airport prior to 4 hours of departure. The Rapid PCR test should be based on moleculae diagnostic testing intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid for SARS-COV-2 viral RNA,” the travel advisory said.
When contacted, an airline official confirmed the latest travel advisory issued by Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and said new requirement will hit the passengers especially from Pakistan as the country’s labs have no facilities for Rapid PCR tests at the departures.
“PIA will not uplift passengers for Dubai until relation in travel advisory as Rapid PCR facility is not available with labs in Pakistan,” Pakistan International Airlines notified its station managers on Friday.
Aviation sources said passengers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda can still land in other UAE airports provided they get ICA approval and meet other travelling conditions announced on August 3 and 4.
The UAE has allowed fully-vaccinated residents from Pakistan and other restricted countries to return from Thursday. The UAE has emphasised airlines and travel agents to strictly follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) and bring passengers that meet all the guidelines and conditions.
“Passengers must complete a Covid-19 PCR rapid test 4 hours before the departure of their flight. Rapid antigen test will not be accepted,” according to latest travel advisory by Emirates Airline.