Emirates now require Covid-19 test from all passengers

emirates airport

The rules for entry and transit through the United Arab Emirates strengthen significantly since 1 August. From this date, ALL incoming passengers will need a negative COVID-19 test to get on board the flight and entry the UAE.

This test must be carried out no later than 96 hours before the trip (both to and from the United Arab Emirates). This will mainly affect two major carriers Emirates and Etihad Airways. So far, passengers, who enter the country and plan to vacation there have needed a negative test for COVID-19.

Now, however, the local authorities have extended the range of testing to people who fly through Dubai or Abu Dhabi further into exotics, or to any other destination. This applies to passengers regardless of nationality or country.

The official Emirates website statement says:

From 1 August 2020 all passengers arriving in Dubai from any destination, including passengers connecting in Dubai, must have a negative COVID-19 test certificate to be accepted on the flight. The test must be taken a maximum of 96 hours before departure. This excludes children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability.

  • If the UAE government has specified a designated laboratory (none in the UK yet) in your country of origin, then you must get your certificate from that lab. If it is not specified, please use an accredited lab in your country of departure.
  • You may need to take another COVID-19 PCR test on arrival. If you take a test at the airport, you must remain in your hotel or residence until you receive the test result. If the test result is positive, you will be required to undergo isolation and follow the Dubai Health Authority guidelines. You must also download the COVID-19 – DXB Smart App. iOS – Android  
  • All travellers to Dubai, including passengers with a connecting flight, must complete this health declaration form and give it to the staff at check-in. This form will also be available at check-in.
  • You will also need to complete the quarantine undertaking form given to you on board if Dubai is your final destination. Hand this form to the Dubai Health Authority staff on arrival.”

Similar wording is provided by the Etihad Airways website. Both airlines will not allow you to board the plane unless you show them a negative test from an approved test provider.

Currently, the Emirates website only points to some laboratories and mentions twelve specific countries.

Europe and the UK still seem to have to wait for more information on the acceptance of testing results from specific laboratories.

There is also an updated official statement on UK’s GOV website.


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