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All passengers to Dubai must hold COVID-19 negative PCR test

Arrivals at Dubai Airport on Sunday as first flights from India since March 19 arrive
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan, Gulf News

Dubai: All inbound passengers to Dubai, including those transiting via the emirate, must hold COVID-19 negative PCR test report with immediate effect, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) announced on Sunday.

The real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test often abbreviated as PCR test is accepted as the most accurate test for coronavirus infection.

The test is considered valid for 96 hours before departure from the origin airport [from where the passenger begins the journey], according to DCAA.

This was informed to aircraft operators conducting flight operations to and from Dubai Airports (Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport) in an information bulletin issued on Sunday that has been seen by Gulf News.

The bulletin related to flight restrictions due to coronavirus said the aircraft operators must meet the updated conditions with immediate effect.

“Ensure that all passengers are in compliance with the Dubai government protocols and conditions for citizens,

residents and tourists travelling into or out of Dubai airports,” the bulletin stated.

“Ensure that all inbound passengers (arriving or transiting) to Dubai required to hold a negative PCR test report (test validity 96 hours) before departure from the origin airport.”

Though the predeparture PCR test was not mandatory for all passengers when passengers were first allowed to arrive to the emirate in the last week of June, it was made applicable to passengers from 10 countries as announced by Emirates airlines on July 8.

However, Sunday’s instruction to the airlines has made it clear that any passenger from any country is now required to carry a negative report for PCR test for coronavirus prior to departure.

The test results should be provided to the authorities in Dubai upon request, the bulletin stated.

Doctors Gulf News spoke to explained that the validity of the test begins from the date of giving the sample, not from the date of receiving the result as there is no guarantee that an individual. who provided negative sample for swab tests, cannot catch infection after the test.

They said the purpose of making the test mandatory again on arrival in Dubai will ensure there is only a gap of four days within which a tested passenger could contract the coronavirus,

If the passenger has been infected within this time frame, it can be detected through the test conducted on arrival in Dubai.

Operators were also asked to ensure that all passengers (tourist/visa-on-arrival) arriving in Dubai have a valid health insurance to be used in the UAE. “It is recommended that all transit/transfer passengers through Dubai Airports to have a valid health insurance.”

Airlines were also asked to ensure that all passengers fill in the health declaration form prior to departing to and from Dubai.

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