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Covid-19 in Dubai: Everything to Know About the Updated Test and Travel Rules

Dubai. Photo: Unsplash

Dubai has announced an update on its travel regulations regarding coronavirus testing for both residents and tourists. The change in rules now allows passengers from several countries to be tested for coronavirus in the airport on arrival.

The overhaul in rules has seen some major changes to travel requirements. One of the major changes will see previous rules, such as requiring all travellers to provide a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate dropped for passengers from the UK and Germany, as confirmed by Emirates airline in a statement.

Requirements for pre-flight tests for many travellers have now been altered or dropped in over 50 countries. Passengers from Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Maldives, 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 and United States (New York, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Seattle) have seen reduced testing rules. UAE residents travelling from any of these countries now have the option to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate before departure or they can choose to take the test on arrival in Dubai. The majority of tourists from these countries are still required to present their negative test certificate that must be valid for up to 96-hours before the date of departure, except for those travelling from the UK and Germany who can now choose to take their Covid-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai. Transiting passengers do not need to present a test Covid-19 PCR test certificate unless it is required by their final destination.

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However, many passengers from other countries will require a double test, whereby they must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate on checking in to their flight and then are required to have a second test on arrival in Dubai, meaning once they leave Dubai airport, they must self-isolate in hotels or homes until their results are ready. Passengers travelling from Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire, 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 and Zimbabwe are required for double-testing. UAE residents and tourists travelling from these countries must present a negative test result on check-in to their flight as well as a second test on arrival in Dubai airport. Transiting passengers are required to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate valid for up to 96-hours before departure as well as any additional requirements for their final destination.

This major change in rules is likely to see Dubai airport become increasingly busy in the upcoming weeks, as it welcomes many tourists for the winter season. The decisions have been made as part of a wider update of travel requirements in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which were announced on Monday. However, there has been no suggestion that entry requirements to Abu Dhabi, Sharjah or the Northern Emirates have changed.

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