The policy was announced after more than 50 fliers from Pakistan who transited in Dubai tested positive on arrival in Hong Kong.
Emirates has rolled out new screening measures for travelers coming from places deemed to be “high risk” for Covid-19 by UAE authorities. Travelers from these areas will not be allowed to board their flight without a health certificate showing a negative result through a nose or deep throat swab test. The PCR test must be taken within four days of travel (less than 96 hours before the scheduled departure time) at the passenger’s own expense, and wherever possible, results should be issued by a laboratory recognized by the UAE government. The rule applies not just to those planning to visit Dubai but also to customers transiting through the airport.
The 12 “high-risk” countries, broken down according to geographical region, are as follows:
Middle East and North Africa: Egypt, Iran
Rest of Africa: Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania
South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan
Southeast Asia: Philippines
North America: United States
Not all customers in the U.S. are subject to the new requirement. It only applies to passengers flying from or starting their journeys in three states where coronavirus cases have surged in recent weeks. In Texas, all those flying out of Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston must be tested beforehand. So too should travelers from Los Angeles and San Francisco. In Florida, the U.S. state with the third-highest number of Covid-19 cases (after New York and California), the rule extends to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.
Despite the rising infection rates in multiple continents, Emirates still aims to fly to 63 destinations by the middle of August. Today, it restarted regular passenger services between Dubai and Los Angeles; the carrier is reinstating its Guangzhou route this weekend. August 1 will see the resumption of flights to Stockholm, the Tanzanian commercial capital of Dar es Salaam, and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Prague and São Paulo will follow suit the next day, while Emirates jets will take off for Oslo on August 4 and Boston on August 15. Flights on all these reinstated routes will be operated with Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
More information here.