Emirates has begun rapid pre-boarding COVID-19 testing at Dubai Airport

Apr 15, 2020

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Emirates is starting on-site rapid COVID-19 testing on passengers. The new testing program began today with travelers going from Dubai (DXB) to Tunisia (TUN) April 15.

This new protocol is in coordination with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). This testing will allow for almost immediate confirmation with results provided in as little as 10 minutes through a quick blood test. This testing will also provide passengers with a COVID-19 test certificate, which some countries are now requiring for entry.

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The passengers will be tested in the group check-in area of DXB in Terminal 3.

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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 travelers. To tackle COVID-19, we have been proactively working with various governmental organizations 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 organizations.”

This comes nearly a week after another U.A.E based airline, Etihad, announced that it would begin implementing new technology that could identify early stages of coronavirus by monitoring passenger temperatures, heart rate and respiratory rate at airport touch points. This is certainly a less invasive solution, but much less effective as many people with coronavirus are asymptomatic.

In addition to testing departing passengers, Emirates is now requiring that all passengers wear their own masks when at the airport and during boarding.

What do you think about on-site rapid testing? Will the U.S. airlines follow Emirates lead or will it prove to be too invasive?

For more on the coronavirus outbreak, see:

Featured photo courtesy of Ryan Patterson.

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