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Amendments to Covid-19 PCR test requirements for Dubai

28 October 2020

Emirates Airline yesterday announced amendments to Covid-19 PCR testing requirements for travellers to Dubai.

Currently, a pre-travel Covid-19 test is mandatory for UAE residents and for passengers transiting through UAE from about 60 countries, and for tourists from the UK and Germany. However, UAE residents from these countries can choose to get this test done upon arrival in the UAE.

But, for passengers from several other countries, irrespective of whether they are UAE residents, tourists or transiting passengers, a double testing (inclusive of pre-travel and on-arrival tests) are still mandatory.

CPR Test

Latest Update

As per the latest update, the following entry rules are applicable to passengers travelling from the following countries:

Armenia, Australia, Algeria, Austria, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Belgium, Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Brunei, Brazil, China, Canada, Estonia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Maldives Islands, Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States (New York, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Seattle.

  • UAE residents can choose to submit a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate valid for 96 hours from the date of the test, either prior travel or they can get the Covid-19 PCR test done upon arrival in Dubai.
  • Tourists are required to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate with a validity of 96 hours from the date of test before departure, except for travellers from the UK and Germany, who are given the option to take Covid-19 PCR test prior to arrival in Dubai.
  • Those transiting from the above-said countries are not required to present a Covid-19 PCR test certificate unless it is required by your final destination.

Entry rules for passengers from following countries:

Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chile, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Slovakia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United States (California, Florida, Texas), Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

  • UAE residents from the above-said countries will have to do double testing – one prior to their departure with a validity of 96 hours from the date of the test, and a second test upon arrival in Dubai.
  • Tourists from the above-said countries too, will have to do Covid-19 PCR test – one prior to departure with a validity of 96 hours from the date of the test and another test upon arrival in Dubai.
  • Transiting passengers from the above-said countries should submit a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate that is valid for 96 hours from the date of the test, and any requirements for their final destination.

PCR Test Exemption

Children below the age of 12 and passengers with moderate or severe disability are exempted from the Covid-19 test.

UAE nationals are exempted from the pre-travel Covid-19 test prior to departing from their original destination to Dubai. However, they will be tested on arrival in Dubai.

Authorized Laboratories

Emirates Airline says, passengers can either do the testing in the laboratories recommended in the list of specified labs by the UAE government, or from any trusted and certified laboratories in their country of origin to get their Covid-19 PCR test.

The airline in its website emphasizes that if you are flying from Pakistan, India or Bangladesh, you must get your certificate from one of the labs listed in the designated laboratories document to be accepted on the flight.

According to the website, the test certificates should be for a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.

“Other test certificates including antibody tests and home testing kits are not accepted in Dubai. If you are taking a test before you depart, you must bring an official, printed certificate in English or Arabic to check in – SMS and digital certificates are not accepted,” the airline said in its statement.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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