Coronavirus: Flying from Dubai to UK, European Union requires COVID-19 PCR test

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United Arab Emirates residents flying to the United Kingdom or countries of the European Union must take a COVID-19 PCR test before they leave the country, officials from Emirates and Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA) confirmed on Sunday.

The new requirement comes in line with updated regulations that made PCR tests mandatory for all airline passengers traveling to the UAE that were announced by The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) on Wednesday.

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Previously, the UAE did not require travelers to take a test before leaving the country.

While the new regulations apply across the entire UAE, Abu Dhabi currently requires a negative COVID-19 test result to enter the emirate from elsewhere in the UAE, while Dubai does not.

Now, anyone wishing to travel to the UK or the EU from Dubai International Airport must take a COVID-19 PCR test.

Children under the age of 12 and people with disabilities are exempt from the ruling, according to unconfirmed media reports.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

How do I book a PCR test and much does it cost?

Tests can be arranged through the SEHA app, which can be downloaded on both IOS and Android, or via the Dubai Health Authority.

The PCR test costs around 370 dirhams ($100), except for the following categories of people who are exempt from the fee:

  • UAE nationals
  • Children of Emirati women
  • Domestic workers who work for Emiratis within their households
  • UAE residents over 50 years old
  • People suffering from chronic diseases
  • People of determination (the term the UAE uses for people with disabilities or special needs)
  • Pregnant women

When do I need to take a COVID-19 PCR test before flying?

The COVID-19 PCR test must be taken within 96 hours of departure, confirmed an Emirates official.

An official from Dubai Health Authority said that the results of the test should be received within two working days (Sunday-Thursday in the UAE).

This suggests that passengers should take the test no later than 48 hours before departure on a weekday if they want to be sure of recieving their results on time.

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