Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 29 November 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: online booking service for Covid-19 tests set up for travellers to the UAE

Pure Health has launched the service to simplify the process of securing Covid-19 tests prior to flying to the Emirates

A tourist receives instruction at Dubai airport in the United Arab Emirates on July 8, 2020, as the country reopened its doors to international visitors in the hope of reviving its tourism industry after a nearly four-month closure. / AFP / GIUSEPPE CACACE
A tourist receives instruction at Dubai airport in the United Arab Emirates on July 8, 2020, as the country reopened its doors to international visitors in the hope of reviving its tourism industry after a nearly four-month closure. / AFP / GIUSEPPE CACACE

An online booking and payment system for government approved Covid-19 tests promises to simplify the registration process for travellers to the UAE this summer.

Pure Health, the UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) backed testing facility, opened a new online process to help manage the flow of visitors from outside the country.

The international laboratory partnership has enabled more than 500 accredited laboratories in 40 countries to oversee Covid-19 tests recognised by authorities for entry into the UAE.

Incoming passengers must register via the government online portal before booking a test in their country of origin.

Results are then shared with the FAIC before approval is granted to enter the emirates.

The online service can be accessed here

“We are delighted to associate with the UAE government on this initiative, which is intended to enable people to travel safely, healthy and with peace of mind to the UAE,” said Pramodh BN, head of commercial operations​ at Pure Health.

“We have facilitated the Covid-19 screening in these countries for the incoming passengers, who can book an appointment at the listed, accredited labs that are accepted by relevant health authorities.

“We have initiated the online system in place for implementing the project.

“The portal enables passengers to register and avail the service and it also enables the laboratories to update and report the results to the authorities concerned in the UAE.”

The UAE has brought in mandatory testing for all airline passengers travelling to the country.

Travellers must undergo tests in their country and present a negative test report at check-in desks before flying to the Emirates.

The new system will be in place from August 1.

The global travel industry has been hard hit by the pandemic, but not all nations have enforced compulsory Covid-19 testing on entry.

Many airlines have slashed fares to encourage travellers back into the air this summer but testing on arrival is not in place worldwide.

The International Air Transport Association predicts Middle East air passenger traffic will fall by about 56 per cent, or by more than 113 million passenger journeys, as a result of coronavirus with demand unlikely to recover until 2024.

Testing all arriving passengers into the UAE and enabling an effective online booking system is seen as crucial to restore confidence to the tourism sector.

“We continue to work hard to deliver innovative solutions that make a difference,” said Mr Pramodh.

“Currently, we are working hard to add more countries and labs across the world and we look to achieve coverage in 60 countries and 1,000 laboratories in the short term.

“We advise the UAE residents and visitors to follow sensible guidance to prepare when they are planning their trip to the country and reduce the risk of exposure to Covid-19 while this outbreak is ongoing.”

Updated: July 30, 2020 02:16 PM

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