Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 3 December 2020

Dubai sets out major overhaul of Covid testing for residents and tourists

The transport hub updated its list of requirements – and dropped pre-flight testing for passengers from many countries

Dubai set out a major overhaul of travel rules on Monday, allowing passengers from dozens of countries to be tested for Covid-19 on arrival in the airport.

Pre-flight tests in travellers’ country of origin were altered or dropped in up to 56 countries, plus tourists from those nations and others.

Dozens more will require “double testing”, meaning they need to show a negative Covid on check-in, before boarding, and then be screened on arrival in the emirate. They would leave the airport and quarantine in hotels or homes until results are ready.

Among the major changes were that tourists from the UK and Germany can now be tested on arrival in Dubai, Emirates Airline confirmed in a statement.

If you are taking a test before you depart, you must bring an official, printed certificate in English or Arabic to check‑in – SMS and digital certificates are not accepted

Emirates Airline

The decision was among a wider update of travel requirements on Monday.

It will mean testing operations at Dubai International Airport are likely to be ramped up in the coming days to handle an influx of winter tourists.

Previously, almost all tourists and residents coming into Dubai would be required to have a PCR swab test in their country of origin – and show the results – before they boarded their flight to the Emirates.

There was no suggestion that federal entry requirements to Abu Dhabi, Sharjah or the Northern Emirates had changed as of Monday.

During the summer, a previous system was put in place that saw passengers flying into Dubai be tested on arrival and have to quarantine until they got their results, which was later phased out.

The following entry rules apply to passengers travelling from these countries:

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, United States (New York, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Seattle)

- UAE residents have the option of presenting a negative Covid‑19 PCR test certificate that is valid for 96 hours from the date of the test before departure or take the Covid‑19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai.

- Tourists must present a negative Covid‑19 PCR test certificate that is valid for 96 hours from the date of the test before departure, except passengers coming from the UK and Germany, who have the option of taking a Covid‑19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai.

- Transiting passengers from these countries are not required to present a Covid‑19 PCR test certificate unless it is mandated by your final destination.

The following entry rules apply to passengers travelling from these countries:

Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chile, Cote d’lvoire, 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, Zimbabwe

- UAE residents must take two Covid‑19 PCR tests: one before departure with a validity of 96 hours from the date of the test, and a second test upon arrival in Dubai.

- Tourists must take two Covid‑19 PCR tests: one before departure with a validity of 96 hours from the date of the test, and a second test upon arrival in Dubai.

- Transiting passengers from these countries must have a negative Covid‑19 PCR test certificate that is valid for 96 hours from the date of test, as well as any requirements for their final destination.

Dubai International Airport - in pictures

Updated: October 26, 2020 09:31 PM

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