Emirates Becomes First Airline to Conduct Rapid COVID-19 Tests for Passengers

The quick blood tests are done at the group check-in area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, with results available within 10 minutes.

Photo: Emirates

With the prevention of imported COVID-19 cases currently at the forefront of most airlines’ safety measures, many have implemented temperature checks and other tests to ensure passenger health pre-flight.

Emirates has taken this a step further by being the first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 tests. Partnering with Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the Gulf carrier kicked off the testing on its April 15 flight to Tunisia.

Conducted by DHA, the quick blood tests are done at the group check-in area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, with results available within 10 minutes.

Photo: Emirates

Adel Al Redha, Emirates chief operating officer said: “The testing process has gone smoothly and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Dubai Health Authority for their initiatives and innovative solutions. This would have not been possible without the support of Dubai Airport and other government authorities.”

“We are working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights, this will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers traveling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates. The health and safety of staff and passengers at the airport remain of paramount importance,” he added.

HE Humaid Al Qutami, director-general of DHA said: “We are glad to work with Emirates on the successful implementation of rapid COVID-19 testing at the airport for departing travelers. To tackle COVID-19, we have been proactively working with various governmental organizations and the private health sector and we have implemented all necessary measures from public health protection to the provision of high-quality health services in line with the latest international guidelines. We believe strongly that the most effective solutions require close partnerships with other public and private sector organizations.”

Photo: Emirates

Meanwhile, the airline’s check-in and boarding facilities have been adapted with social distancing in mind. Protective barriers have been installed at each check-in desk to provide additional safety measures to both passengers and employees during any interaction, while gloves, masks, and hand sanitizers have been made mandatory for all airport employees.

Passengers are also required to wear their own masks when at the airport and onboard the aircraft, and follow social distancing guidelines. Emirates’  inflight services have also been amended for health and safety reasons—magazines and other print reading material will not be available, and while food and beverages will continue to be offered onboard, packaging and presentation will be modified to reduce contact during meal service and minimize the risk of interaction.

Cabin baggage is currently not accepted on flights and carry-on items allowed in the cabin are limited to a laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items. All other items have to be checked in, and Emirates will add the cabin baggage allowance to customers’ check-in baggage allowance.

After every flight, all Emirates aircraft will also go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes in Dubai.

More information here.

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