Dubai: UAE residents are looking forward to a long Eid weekend at the end of this month, and if you are planning a quick getaway to take advantage of the extended leave, you may want to get updated on the COVID-19 requirements that you need to fulfill.
While many countries have relaxed COVID-19 testing and quarantine guidelines, you would still need to have some basic documents in place, and may even need a PCR test for some destinations. So, to make sure your Eid holiday trip is hassle-free, here is a quick travel checklist.
Step 1: Check your destination’s PCR requirements
Can you travel to the destination if you are not fully vaccinated? Which documents do you need to provide, in case you are vaccinated, in order to be accepted for travel? Each destination has specific COVID-19 guidelines, which you can find in detail on the website of the airlines that you are going to fly.
So, before you travel, find out what the latest guidelines are for your specific destination.
Step 2: Vaccination certificate – are you fully vaccinated?
While you may have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, you would still need to check if the destination you are travelling to requires a booster dose six months after the second dose, for the individual to be considered fully vaccinated.
Also, you will need to find out which vaccines are accepted by the country, to know if your vaccine status will be accepted.
If you fulfil the criteria of the country you are travelling to, you can download your vaccine certificate from the Al Hosn app, if you received the doses in the UAE. The certificate is issued with a QR code.
How to download the vaccine certificate
1. Download the ‘Alhosn’ app, which is available for Apple and Android devices.
2. Register using your Emirates ID number, after which you will receive a one-time password for verification purposes on your registered mobile number.
3. Once you have registered on the app, you will get details of the vaccination doses you have received.
4. To download the certificate, tap on the three dots on the top right corner and select ‘Share vaccination certificate’. The app will then give you the option to share the soft copy of your vaccination card via email or a messaging app, or to download a pdf for printing.
Step 3: Do you need a PCR test?
While some countries have started allowing fully vaccinated passengers to travel without the need to take a PCR test, you may still need it for other countries. Also, a few countries require the passengers to be fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test result, too, to be eligible to fly.
The duration of the PCR test may vary from 72 to 48 hours before your flight’s departure time. However, it is important to note that most countries require a PCR test that has a QR code for verification purposes.
Where can I get an approved PCR test?
According to Emirates airlines, these are the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) integrated laboratories that provide COVID-19 PCR test certificates in Dubai.
• Al Garhoud Private Hospital
• Al Zahra Hospital
• American Hospitals Dubai
• CPS Clinical Pathology Services (MenaLab)
• Dubai Health Authority (Latifa Labs)
• EUROFINS BIOMNIS
• Freiburg Medical Laboratory
• Mediclinic Hospitals Group
• Medsol Dubai Medical Laboratory
• National Reference Laboratory
• Viafet Genomic laboratory
• Scientific Clinical Laboratories (Unilabs)
• Star Metropolis Clinical Laboratories
• York Diagnostic Laboratories
• Al Tadawi Medical Centre
• Aster Hospitals in Dubai
• Canadian Specialist Hospital
• Emirates Hospital
• King’s College Hospital Dubai
• Medeor Hospital
• NMC Healthcare
• Prime Medical Centres
• Saudi German Hospital
• Thumbay Hospital
• Zulekha Hospital
Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health lists the following centres that provide a PCR test:
Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center
Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center Booth
Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center Field Tent – Al Mushrif
Yas Healthcare L.L.C.
Accuracy Plus Medical Laboratory
Yas Health Care L.L.C. - Branch 1
Al Borg Diagnostic Centre For Laboratories L.L.C.
Al Fuad Medical Center
Al Hosn One Day Surgery Center L.L.C
Alshameel Home Care
Baynuna Medical Center Booth - (Capital Mall)
Capital Medical Centre For Health Screening - L.L.C
Health Plus Medical Laboratory / Health Plus Diabetes & Endocrinology Center
Marina Health Promotion Center LLC
Wellness One Day Surgery Center LLC
Yas Clinic Group – Khalifa
New National Medical Center – Musaffah
Ideal Clinical Laboratories
Proficiency Healthcare Diagnostic Laboratories L.L.C Screening Tent
Pioneer Medical Services L.L.C
Home Health Medical Centre - L L C
Medstar Icad Medical Center L.L.C
Healthline Day Care Surgery Screening Tent
Nmc Specialty Hospital Llc Drive Thru Tent
Makkah Specialized Medical Centre
Czech Rehabilitation Hospital – Alain
Al Shrooq Health Services Center Llc
Al Sultan Advanced Medical Clinics
Infinity Health Care Medical Center Llc – Al Ain
Ain Al Khaleej Hospital
Medstar Clinics - Al Ain Industrial
Burjeel Royal Hospital L.L.C Screening Tent
Pride Medical Center - Al Ain Industrial
The Health Team Medical Center L.L.C – Al Ain
True Life Primary Care Center L.L.C.
Classic Care Medical Center – Sweihan, Al Ain
Yas Clinic Group - Al Ain
Advanced Medical Center Dignostic Center
Accu Care Medical Laboratory – Al Ain
Czech Rehabilitation Hospital And Al Ain Football Club Drive-Thru Tent
Al Balsam Medical Center L.L.C.
Beaulink Medical Center
Al Mamoon Medical Centre
Cure Plus Medical Center
Laurette Medical Centre
Alraaya Specialist Medical Centre
Biotech Diagnostic Centre Medical Laboratory Llc
Cope Medical Center
Ultra Medical Center Screening Tent
Medeor 24x7 International Hospital L.L.C Tent
Royal Care Medical Centre - Branch1
Diamond Medical Center L.L.C
Al Taj Medical Laboratory
Emirates International Hospital - Sole Proprietorship L.L.C.
Drive-through National Screening Centres
Drive-through National Screening Centres for COVID-19 are available across all emirates. Download the SEHA app or call the Estijaba helpline at 8001717 to book a screening appointment for COVID-19 from anywhere in the UAE.
Location and time of the screening will be confirmed to you through a text message.
Step 4: Do you need to register with the country’s COVID-19 portal?
After the outbreak of the COVID-19, countries across the world developed online portals to track the spread of the virus. Find out if your destination requires you to register with the country’s COVID-19 portal. If so, you will be required to provide your flight details, vaccination status as well as a negative PCR test result, based on the latest guidelines.
Step 5: Take a print out of the necessary documents
Once you have all your documents in place, it is important to keep a printed copy of each certificate, test result, or portal registration, as it may be required by the airport staff.
Step 6: Keep extra face masks, gloves handy
Before you head to the airport, remember to pack your COVID-19 safety kit – extra face masks, gloves and hand sanitisers – to ensure you enjoy a safe Eid break abroad.
If you still haven’t made travel plans, there are certain destinations that you can travel to visa free as a UAE resident. To know more, read here.