Emirates, in coordination with Dubai Health Authority (DHA), has become the first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers. Passengers on a flight to Tunisia on 15 April were all tested for COVID-19 before departing from Dubai.
The quick blood test was conducted by the DHA and results were available within 10 minutes. This test was conveniently done at the Group Check-in area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates Chief Operating Officer, said: “The testing process has gone smoothly and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Dubai Health Authority for their initiatives and innovative solutions. This would have not been possible without the support of Dubai Airport and other government authorities. 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.”
HE Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said: “We are glad to work with Emirates on the successful implementation of rapid COVID-19 testing at the airport for departing travellers. To tackle COVID-19, we have been proactively working with various governmental organisations and the private health sector and we have implemented all necessary measures from public health protection to provision of high-quality health services in line with the latest international guidelines. We believe strongly that the most effective solutions require close partnerships with other public and private sector organisations.”
Emirates adapts in response to COVID-19
The airline’s check-in and boarding formalities have also been adapted with social distancing in mind. Protective barriers have been installed at each check-in desk to provide additional safety measures for passengers and employees during any interaction. Gloves, masks and hand sanitisers have been made mandatory for all employees at the airport.
Passengers are also required to wear their own masks when at the airport and on board the aircraft, and follow social distancing guidelines.Emirates has modified its inflight services for health and safety reasons.
Magazines and other print reading material will not be available, and while food and beverages will continue to be offered on board, packaging and presentation will be modified to reduce contact during meal service and minimise risk of interaction. Cabin baggage is currently not accepted on flights. Carry-on items allowed in the cabin are limited to laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items. All other items have to be checked in, and Emirates will add the cabin baggage allowance to customers’ check-in baggage allowance. All Emirates aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes in Dubai, after each journey.