June 19, 2024

Passenger pre-flight COVID testing begins

Emirates is claiming an industry first as it begins conducting on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers pre-departure.

The first passengers to be tested boarded a flight from Dubai to Tunisia last week and were tested in the check-in area of Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport.

Blood tests were carried out by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and results were available within 10 minutes.

Adel Al Redha, Emirates chief operating officer, said: “We are working on plans to scale-up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights. This will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers travelling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates. The health and safety of staff and passengers at the airport remain of paramount importance.”

Emirates has also adapted its check-in and boarding to meet social distancing requirements. Protective barriers have been installed at each check-in desk while gloves, masks and hand sanitisers have been made mandatory for all airport employees.

Passengers are also required to wear their own masks when at the airport and on board the aircraft, and follow social distancing guidelines. Carry-on items are now limited to laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items. All other items have to be checked in and will be added to customers’ check-in baggage allowance.