Lack of rapid PCR tests at foreign airports delays UAE residents' return

Passengers from Bangladesh, Nigeria, Vietnam, Zambia and Indonesia cannot fulfil criteria to fly back

A FAAN (COVID-19) sign is seen at the domestic wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport during preparation ahead of the reopening of the airport for domestic flight operations that is scheduled for July 8, 2020 in Abuja, Nigeria July 6, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
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UAE residents trying to catch flights back to Dubai from Bangladesh, Nigeria, Vietnam, Zambia and Indonesia are unable to meet the criteria to travel, says Emirates airline on its website.

Recently announced rules demand that when travelling from these countries to Dubai "passengers must also present a rapid PCR test report with a QR code for a test conducted at the departure airport within six hours of departure".

But rapid PCR testing facilities are not available at airports in these countries and, therefore, residents are no able to fulfil the requirements.

"For passengers travelling to Dubai as their final destination from Bangladesh, Nigeria, Vietnam, Zambia and Indonesia travel is currently not possible as there are no rapid PCR testing facilities at the airport," the airline said on its website.

UAE residents from any emirate can now fly to Dubai, according to updated travel regulations announced this week.

However, any residence visa holders travelling from a list of 10 previously banned countries must first get approval from either the GDFRA or ICA. They must also present a negative PCR test, including QR code, where the sample was taken within 48 hours of arrival as well as a rapid PCR test taken within six hours of departure.

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Updated: September 01, 2021, 10:19 PM