Emirates has become the first airline to introduce rapid on-site coronavirus testing for passengers. The initiative, which has been rolled out in coordination with Dubai Health Authority (DHA), was introduced on a flight to Tunisia. All passengers were all tested for Covid-19 before departing from Dubai.
The quick blood test was conducted by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and results were available within 10 minutes. This test was carried out at the Group Check-in area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3.
Plans to scale up testing capabilities
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.”
Check-in and boarding formalities adapted
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 both passengers and employees during any interaction. Gloves, masks and hand sanitisers have been made mandatory for all employees at the airport.
Passengers are required to wear their own masks when at the airport and on board the aircraft, and follow social distancing guidelines. Emirates has modified its in-flight 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 to minimize risk of interaction.
Cabin baggage is currently not accepted on flights with carry-on items allowed in the cabin limited to laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items. All other items have to be checked in, and Emirates has added 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.