UAE airlines drop pre-arrival PCR test for vaccinated travellers after covid-19 rules relaxed.


Emirates, Etihad and flydubai have followed the government’s lead and updated travel guidelines for travel to the UAE

The UAE’s airlines have dropped their requirement for a pre-arrival PCR test for fully vaccinated travellers following the relaxation of covid rules by officials.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) announced that from February 26 passengers who have the approved QR code proving their vaccination status will no longer have to have a PCR test prior to arrival. Unvaccinated passengers will still need to have a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival.

Reflecting this Emirates, Etihad and flydubai have now all removed the need for the pre-arrival test – though passengers arriving into Abu Dhabi via Etihad will still need to take the free test at the airport, with no further quarantine needed.

Confirming the move, Etihad said on its website: “You no longer need a test to fly to Abu Dhabi if you’re vaccinated or you’re under 16, or you hold a COVID-19 recovery certificate.”

No covid PCR test for vaccinated passengers arriving in Dubai

Emirates and flydubai now carry the updated advice:

“Effective 26 February 2022, passengers travelling to Dubai from all countries (GCC included) must fulfil one of the below requirements:

“Present a valid vaccination certificate(s) reflecting that the passenger is fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the WHO or the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and includes a QR code System; or

“Present a valid Negative Covid‑19 Test certificate that should be based on a molecular diagnostic test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid for SARS‑COV‑2 viral RNA, that is issued within 48 hours from the time of sample collection and issued by an approved health service provider, with a QR code System; or

“Present a valid medical certificate issued by the relevant authorities that the passenger has “recovered from Coronavirus SARS Cov‑19 within a period of one (1) month from the date of recovery to the date of arrival, with a QR code System.”

Covid close contact rules relaxed

The nationwide regulations have been relaxed too for close contacts of those with covid, with quarantine now no longer necessary, however state employees who are close contact must take daily PCR tests for five days.

Those who test positive will still have to quarantine but measures such as the tracking wristband used in the capital Abu Dhabi will no longer be needed.

NCEMA also announced that while mask-wearing is mandatory in public indoor spaces it was now ‘optional outdoors’.

In Dubai, the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management also announced that the wearing of masks continues to be mandatory in all public indoor venues in the emirate, while it is optional in outdoor areas.

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