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UAE Airports Will Now Accept Covid-19 Tests from Overseas Clinics

Photographed by Domen / Van De Velde for Vogue Arabia, December 2018.

Previously limited only to tests from UAE-approved labs, a new update issued by the Emirates News Agency (WAM) states that airports in the UAE will now accept the results of tests conducted anywhere in the world. “[We will] expand the approval of the results of medical examinations to include all accredited laboratories by governments in countries around the world,” said the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) and Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) on August 4.

As a pre-flight test is mandatory to travel to the UAE, the announcement provides respite for travelers who had previously had to travel significant distances to find a UAE-approved laboratory in their own country. The new rules will now allow travelers to get tested at a creditable overseas laboratory, so long as it meets the requirement of being approved by the government in question. Upon receiving a negative test result, travelers must also register on the ICA’s website prior to travel, in addition to “communicating with the health centers accredited within their countries to complete the examination process within 96 hours of their flight.” Passengers will then be required to show their negative results prior to boarding, “to ensure the health and safety of all travelers coming to the country,” the announcement stated.

Upon arrival into the country, the circular also noted the need for travelers to “adhere to the precautionary and preventive measures that were put in place upon their arrival to the UAE.” This includes but is not limited to filling in the health form, performing the necessary examination, and downloading the Al-Hosn app. Regardless of being in possession of a negative test result, some passengers may still be required to complete another PCR test upon arrival into the UAE. Some exemptions to this rule include children under the age of 12, as well as children with moderate to severe disabilities.

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