April 22 2020  |  Airlines & Airports

Emirates first airline to offer on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers

By Hibah Noor

Emirates has become the first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers, in coordination with Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

On April 15th, the DHA conducted the first quick blood tests on passengers boarding a flight to Tunisia. The tests were conducted at the Group Check-in area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, with results available in 10 minutes.

The Dubai Health Authority conducted quick on-site rapid blood tests

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 travelling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates. The health and safety of staff and passengers at the airport remain of paramount importance.”

HE Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority (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.”

Passengers to Tunisia were the first to receive these rapid tests on April 15th

Other safety measures

The airline has implemented a number of safety measures to help prevent the spread of the virus, including: requiring passengers to wear their own masks at the airport and on board aircraft; requiring the following of social distancing guidelines through check-in, boarding and at all times in the airport and on board. Protective barriers have been installed at each check-in desk, and gloves, masks and hand sanitizer have been made mandatory for all employees at the airport.

Passengers received results of the COVID-19 tests in 10 minutes

Emirates has modified its inflight services for health and safety reasons. Magazines and other print reading material will not be available, and food and beverage packaging and presentation have been modified to reduce contact and minimize interaction.

Carry-on has been limited to laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items, with all other items requiring check-in.

All Emirates aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes in Dubai, after each journey.

REGION Gulf Africa

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