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An Emirates Airbus A380 on final approach. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | James Dinsdale)

Emirates Begins Coronavirus Rapid Testing in Dubai

Emirates become the first carrier in the world to test for COVID-19 before boarding flights. The airline introduced this measure in collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) on Wednesday, applying rapid tests for all passengers before boarding a flight to Tunis, Tunisia.

All passengers on the flight took blood samples at the check-in zones of Dubai terminal 3, with rapid test results available for passengers after a 10 minutes sample processing time.

Emirates Chief Operating Officer Humaid Al Quatmi showed himself pleased with the pilot rapid testing program saying: “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 traveling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates.”

On the other hand, Dubai Health Authority director-general Humaid Al Qutami said “We have been proactively working with various governmental organizations and the private health sector. We have implemented all necessary measures from public health protection to provision of high-quality health services in line with the latest international guidelines.”

Emirates has also introduced additional sanitation measures and social distancing policies throughout the travel process, including proactive barriers at check-in to ensure passengers are distanced from each other, modification of inflight service and has made all employees wear gloves, masks and regularly use hand sanitizer as a compulsory measure.

With the world uncertain about how health and safety measures will be taking place as travel begins to restore in the coming months; rapid testing might well be a possibility. In this way, it is not out of this world to think about the possibility of some countries requesting test certificates before being cleared for entry. Hence, Emirate’s latest measure might grow in popularity throughout the industry over the coming months.

Jose Antonio Payet
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