Emirates ID to be used as proof of PCR test and vaccine status at Dubai airport check-in desks

Emirates airline and Dubai Health Authority say new data sharing will quicken airport journey

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Emirates IDs can now be used at Dubai airport to provide proof of a PCR test and vaccine status.

A new deal between Emirates airline and Dubai Health Authority will remove the need for UAE residents to present a physical negative test certificate or vaccine card.

The system was unveiled to delegates on the first day of Arab Health, a major exhibition running this week in Dubai.

Passengers insert their Emirates ID into a card reader when they arrive at check-in desks. The move is expected to speed up the airport as thousands of families prepare to travel abroad this summer.

"Our partnership with the Dubai Health Authority in managing passenger travel is unique and is a first step towards other initiatives that will be launched in the near future," said Adel Al Redha, chief operating officer at Emirates airline.

“This is a testament to Dubai’s progressive approach in delivering innovative digital solutions across all aspects of services.”

A full digital verification of Covid-19 medical records is under way between Emirates airline and Dubai Health Authority.

The departures system is not mandatory but should speed up check-in times for residents, many of whom carry their Emirates ID wherever they go.

Emirates assured users it will only process information relating specifically to the Covid-19 entry requirements and the customer’s destination, and not their wider health records.

Once check-in is completed, information relating medical records is discarded from the airline's system, officials said.

A travel pass developed by the International Air Transport Association (Iata) is also now live and can share Covid-19 test results and vaccination cards with airlines.

The Iata Travel Pass will be used regionally by Emirates, Etihad Airways, Saudia and Gulf Air on select routes to relieve pressure on airports and immigration check-points as more people plan their travel in the months ahead.

The airline unveiled the system a day after Dubai Airports announced that Terminal 1 at Dubai International Airport will reopen on June 24.

The transport hub anticipates a "huge surge" in passenger demand and plan a hiring spree to cope, Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths said on Bloomberg TV.

Around 3,500 people are to be taken on as the airport prepares, with 66 airlines currently using Terminals 2 and 3 moving operations to Terminal 1.

The opening day of Arab Health 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Center on June 21st, 2021. 
Antonie Robertson / The National.
Reporter: Nic Webster for National

An integrated, paperless medical records system linked to Emirates ID has been in the pipeline for years.

The pandemic has accelerated the response from health authorities to reduce unnecessary contact that could encourage infection.

“The Dubai Health Authority has been strongly foraying into paperless healthcare over the past few years to enhance patient convenience and further improve healthcare delivery,” said Ahmed Al Nuaimi, CEO of Joint Corporate Support Services at the DHA.

“Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have deployed and fostered the use of digital healthcare.

"This strategic foresight into investing in digital healthcare has paved the way today for such a pioneering integration."

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