Anyone intending to travel to the UAE by air must present a negative Covid-19 test result before boarding their flight, and they should also expect to be tested again on arriving in the country too.
The new regulations come into force on August 1 and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) said they apply to all Emirati citizens, residents, tourists and transit passengers arriving at any airport in the UAE “irrespective of the countries they are coming from”. The rules also apply to Dubai.
The pre-flight test must be done at a clinic approved by the Emirati authorities. NCEMA has provided a list of accredited testing centers in 28 countries via its website and Instagram; those details are also available from the airline with which you are traveling.
All UAE residents flying to the UK and European Union countries must also be tested for the virus before departure.
The result of any test taken abroad or in the UAE before departure is valid for 96 hours. Children younger than 12 or the disabled are exempt from testing. The PCR test involves taking a nasal swab, with results sent via email within 48 hours.
The new regulations, which were announced by NCEMA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Wam, the Emirates’ state news agency, and on Twitter, represent a change in policy. Previously it was only compulsory to have a Covid-19 test on arrival at any airport in the Emirates.
Anna Pukas has reported from all over the world as a foreign correspondent for British media. She is now an editor based in Abu Dhabi.