Is COVID-19 Instant Testing Coming to Airports?

April 15, 2020

No country was able to do it, but Emirates Airlines is beating airlines and countries in the race to re-open travel and aviation and make it safe.

The future in travel may be for countries immigration and health authorities to require a health certificate from airline passengers, so they can show there is no danger of bringing the deadly Coronavirus in. Nepal was one of the first countries requiring such a certificate for arriving passengers.

In coordination with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Emirates will be introducing additional precautions. Passengers on April 15th’s flight from Dubai to Tunisia were all tested for COVID-19 before departing from Dubai. Emirates 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. This test was conveniently done at the Group Check-in area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3.

Emirates is working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights, this will enable them to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers traveling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates.

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 to our passengers and employees during any interaction. Gloves, masks and hand sanitizers have been made mandatory for all employees at the airport.

Passengers are also required to wear their own masks when at the airport and onboard 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 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. 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.

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