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The departure lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Travellers on all Etihad Airways flights to, from and via Abu Dhabi will now be required to furnish a mandatory PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test report, the airline said on Wednesday.

Currently, all passengers travelling on Etihad flights to and via Abu Dhabi are required to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from a government-approved testing facility. From August 16, this will also apply to all guests departing Abu Dhabi, the statement said.

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All passengers must take the PCR test within 96 hours prior to their departure and a negative test result certificate must be shown in order to be able to board a flight.

The exemptions

Guests departing Pakistan and India must use an Etihad-approved medical facility for the PCR tests. Children under the age of 12 and people with mild-to-severe disabilities are currently exempt from the PCR test requirement.

Meanwhile, the Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) have launched the second phase of the UAE Resident Return Programme, which now removes the need for residents of Abu Dhabi to wait for approval to return to the capital from overseas.

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According to Etihad, the airline aims to increase its global services to half its pre-COVID-19 capacity by next month. Image Credit: Supplied

“With the gradual return to normal life in Abu Dhabi, this step will further ease the re-entry process for a greater number of professionals as schools and universities re-open and regular work resumes,” a statement from Etihad said.

Instant verification

Before booking their flight to or from Abu Dhabi, residents are encouraged to visit a new easy-to-use government website to submit their passport number and Emirates ID number, to obtain instant verification of their UAE entry status, in accordance with their UAE residence visa validity.

Etihad aims to increase its global services to half its pre-COVID-19 capacity by next month.

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According to the airline, the gradual return to more international services and destinations is being greatly supported by the Etihad Wellness sanitisation and safety programme, which ensures the highest standards of hygiene, Etihad said. The initiative, introduced in June, aims to give passengers peace of mind on all health and safety parameters that have been put in place for their flights.

As part of the programme, Etihad has introduced specially trained ambassadors, a first for the airline industry, who provide passengers with all essential travel information for their flights.