Since the pandemic the way that we travel has again changed. With different regions of the world requiring different certifications, tests, exemptions and identifications, it is easy to become confused.
The world changed after the atrocities of 911 back in 2001, with the introduction of more stringent searches and banning of liquids being taken onto planes. Today, you must also provide evidence that you do not have COVID-19, or at least that you are sufficiently protected from the virus.
These requirements do have some exceptions, and there are several ways to safely pass through the region’s airports. The same rules apply to hand luggage, and all items that were prohibited for hand and checked in luggage, pre-pandemic, are still on that list.
For those coming into the Emirates, COVID guidance is as follows.
You will need one of the following –
- Present and valid vaccination certificate, showing full vaccination status with a vaccine recognised by WHO or United Arab Emirates. The certificate must include a QR code.
- A valid negative PCR certificate issued withing 48 hours of boarding, from an approved health service provider and with a QR code.
- A medical certificate proving that the passenger has recovered from COVID within a month from their recovery date to date of arrival.
You should also bear in mind the following -
- The PCR certificate are accepted in English or Arabic and must be printed or digital. SMS certificates will not be accepted.
- Recognised vaccination certificates will not be required to have a QR code in Dubai.
- PCR and vaccination certificates will be accepted in other languages providing they can be authenticated at the departure point.
- Rapid anti-gen, anti-body or lateral flow test will not be accepted.
For nationals of GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) you can travel on your National Identity Card. For all other travellers, valid passports will be required.
Exemptions are as follows –
UAE nationals, first degree family on the same flight or domestic workers with a national sponsor will not be required to present PCR or vaccination certificates.
PCR and vaccination certificate exemptions are in place for –
- Children under 12
- Moderate or severe disabilities including but not limited to acute spinal cord injury, down syndrome, brain tumours, Bell’s palsy, Autistic spectrum, ALS, epilepsy, seizures.
- All other passengers, visually, hearing or physically impaired must provide negative PCR tests as per the requirement.
For those flying out of the Emirates –
- One dose within a month of the date of travel, or two doses a vaccine approved by the WHO or UAE.
- A valid, negative PCR test with the sample collected no later than 48 hours before the time of boarding. Again, the certificate must be from an approved health service and must contain a QR code.
Exemptions are in place for children under 12, those medically exempt from the vaccine, humanitarian cases and those travelling for medical and or treatment purposes.
All other regulations stand as were pre-pandemic.
Always remember to use due diligence before travelling, especially if you are travelling outside of the UAE. Last but not least, have a great trip, travel safe and stay vigilant.