DUBAI, UAE, 17 April 2020: Emirates in coordination with Dubai Health Authority introduced for the first time Covid-19 testing for passengers boarding a flight to Tunisia on Tuesday.
Emirates claims it is the first airline to conduct on-site rapid Covid-19 tests for passengers. The quick blood test was conducted by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), and results were available within 10 minutes.
The test was carried out at the group check-in area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3. There are now plans to scale up the testing to extend to other flights.
Emirates chief operating officer Adel Al Redha said: “We are working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and this will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers travelling to countries that require Covid-19 test certificates.”
Dubai Health Authority director-general Humaid Al Qutami (DHA), said: “We are glad to work with Emirates on the successful implementation of rapid COVID-19 testing at the airport for departing travellers.
“To tackle Covid-19, we have been proactively working with various governmental organisations and the private health sector, and we have implemented all necessary measures from public health protection to 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 organisations.”
The airline’s check-in and boarding formalities have also been adapted with social distancing in mind. Protective barriers have been installed at each check-in desk to provide additional safety measures for passengers and employees during any interaction. Gloves, masks and hand sanitisers have been made mandatory for all employees at the airport.
Passengers are also required to wear their own masks when at the airport and on board the aircraft and follow social distancing guidelines. Emirates has modified its inflight services 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 on board, packaging and presentation will be modified to reduce contact during meal service and minimise the risk of interaction.
Cabin baggage is not accepted on flights. Carry-on items allowed in the cabin are limited to 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.
All Emirates aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes in Dubai after each journey.