Dubai: Pakistan’s airports are unable to meet UAE’s requirement of a rapid PCR test four hours prior to departure, said Pakistan’s aviation regulator in a letter.
“The relevant health authorities do not have a rapid PCR testing facility available at the airports – as a consequence, airline operators have been unable to board passengers on flights to Dubai,” said the Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) in a letter.
“Our health authorities do not have the resources to conduct rapid PCR tests in Pakistan and only rapid antigen testing is being used as a method of testing for arriving passengers at Pakistani airports,” said the government body.
An Emirates flight from Karachi landed in Dubai early on Saturday; two more flights operated by Dubai’s flagship carrier are scheduled to arrive from Karachi today.
A flight from Lahore is currently on its way to Dubai and there’s another scheduled for Sunday.
Last week, UAE announced that fully-vaccinated residence visa holders from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda can return to the country.
On Thursday, flights from India were the first ones to land in Dubai with stranded UAE residents. All passengers with a valid UAE residence visa who have been fully vaccinated in the UAE and who hold an official vaccination certificate issued and approved by relevant authorities in the UAE are permitted to return to the UAE.
In India, Mangaluru airport – located in the South Indian state of Karnataka – will take another 10 days to implement a rapid PCR testing facility, an airport official confirmed on Thursday.