Dubai: In the latest update to travel rules during the pandemic, Dubai has exempted all passengers arriving from GCC countries from the mandatory requirement of doing the pre-flight COVID-19 test, Gulf News can reveal.
Dubai Airports on Sunday evening issued the travel update it received from the COVID-19 Command and Control Centre to its partners announcing that “effective from December 6, all passengers arriving (originating) from GCC countries are not required to conduct PCR test before arriving at DXB/DWC [Dubai International Airport/Al Maktoum International Airport].”
The travel update added that these passengers have to undergo “PCR test on arrival only.”
Subsequently, both Emirates and Fly Dubai posted the travel updates on their websites on Monday.
According to the travel update posted on the website of Emirates Airlines, all passengers arriving in Dubai from the GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman) are not required to take a COVID-19 PCR test prior to departure.
“You can opt to do the test on arrival at Dubai International Airport,” it said.
Not applicable on land border
However, Emirates has clarified that “this is not applicable to passengers arriving by road through the Hatta border, who must take the PCR test 96 hours from the date of the test before departure.”
All passengers still have the option of taking the test 96 hours before departure in their country of origin, it added.
Similar updates were posted by Fly Dubai also.
If you are a UAE resident, a tourist or a visitor arriving in Dubai, and your journey originated in a GCC country, you only need to take a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai, stated Fly Dubai’s site.
The site also mentioned that passengers who are required to take a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai need to quarantine until you receive your results.
“You will also need to download the COVID-19 - DXB Smart App (from Apple App Store or from Google Play Store) and register with the Dubai Health Authority prior to arrival in Dubai.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you must quarantine for 14 days,” it added.
What are the existing rules?
Till Sunday, UAE nationals travelling from the GCC (and all foreign stations) were exempt from doing the COVID-19 PCR test prior to departing from the origin station to Dubai. They were being tested on arrival in Dubai.
Passengers transiting in Dubai from the GCC countries also were not required to present a COVID-19 PCR test certificate unless it is mandated by their country of origin or final destination.
UAE residents travelling from GCC countries already had the option to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate that is valid for 96 hours from the date of the test before departure or take the COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai.
However, tourists had to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate that was valid for 96 hours from the date of the test before departure.
Children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability are exempt from the COVID-19 PCR test.