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Now, Covid test results from all approved labs accepted in UAE

Airlines have given returning residents and tourists the permission to procure a test result from any govt accredited laboratory in their home country.

All passengers arriving in the UAE can now carry a copy of their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 negative test result from any accredited laboratory in their country of departure, announced major UAE carriers and other airlines operating in the UAE on August 1.

In the case a UAE- approved laboratory is not in the country of departure, airlines have given returning residents and tourists the permission to procure a test result from any government accredited laboratory in their home country.

Earlier, the UAE had announced all returning UAE residents, visit visa holders, and tourists must carry a pre-departure PCR-negative test from an Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship (ICA) approved laboratory in partnership with the Pure Health network of laboratories.

However, on August 1, Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, and Air India Express are among airlines who announced a reform in the earlier ruling.

Use an accredited result from a lab in home country

Emirates Airlines announced on its website, “All passengers arriving in Dubai from any destination, including passengers connecting in Dubai, must have a negative Covid-19 test certificate to be accepted on the flight. The test must be taken a maximum of 96 hours before departure. This excludes children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability.”

It said, “If the UAE government has specified a designated laboratory in your country of origin, then you must get your certificate from that lab. If it is not specified, please use an accredited lab in your country of departure,”

However, in the case of Emirates Airlines, passengers may need to take another Covid-19 PCR test on arrival. “If you take a test at the airport, you must remain in your hotel or residence until you receive the test result. If the test result is positive, you will be required to undergo isolation and follow the Dubai Health Authority guidelines,” said the Dubai-based airline.

Carry a copy of your test results

Similarly, in the case of Etihad Airways, from August 1, it will be mandatory to have a Covid-19 PCR test before you fly with Etihad Airways from any worldwide airport outside of Abu Dhabi. The Abuy Dhabi- based airline updated on its website, “Your test must be carried out at an approved medical facility 96 hours before your arrival time in Abu Dhabi. If you start your journey with another airline and are connecting to an Etihad Airways flight, we will accept a Covid-19 PCR test from a government approved medical facility in your first point of departure.”

It said, “You will only be permitted to fly if you have a negative Covid-19 PCR test result issued by an approved clinic within 96 hours of arriving or departing Abu Dhabi. You must arrange your test with a Pure Health medical facility if there are approved clinics in your country of departure – test results from other clinics will not be accepted.” However, it added, in the case there are no Pure Health approved facility in the country of departure, passengers can access a list of available labs mentioned on the Etihad website.

As per the updated guidelines, passengers flying from Pakistan should note, “If you are flying from Pakistan, your test must be carried out at a Chughtai or Islamabad Diagnostic Centre (IDC) lab. Test results issued by any other clinic will not be accepted.” Etihad has also recommended passengers carry a copy of their test results with them during their travels.

ICMR results OK for passengers from India

Indian flag carrier Air India Express has said passengers travelling from India can carry a test result from any Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved medical testing centre. The airline said on its India to UAE travel guidelines blog, “For all passengers above 12 years old, a valid negative Covid-19 PCR test report in the printed form, from a government-approved laboratory in India (ICMR) or a Certified designated laboratory which is available on website, no older than 96 hours is required. Children below the age of 12-years-old are exempted from Covid-19 PCR test,” it said.


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