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Coronavirus: UAE's Emirates relaxes COVID-19 testing travel restrictions for Dubai

Published: Updated:

Dubai has expanded the number of recognized coronavirus PCR test facilities abroad that travelers can obtain a COVID-19 test from before entering the emirate, according to new guidelines from Emirates airline.

All passengers entering Dubai must present a negative COVID-19 test that has been taken within the past 96 hours, including tourists, residents and citizens, as well as those transiting through the airport.

In India alone, there are now 1,180 recognized government and private laboratories under the relaxed regulations. For travelers from the UK and the US, a test may be taken at any registered clinic or lab. In Oman, a test can be acquired at any government health center or private hospital.

For more on coronavirus, visit our dedicated section.

It is unclear whether the new Emirates guidelines apply for travelers arriving in emirates other than Dubai.

Previously, the list of testing facilities was more limited, but now, Emirates says that travelers from some countries may take a test at any registered lab or clinic in the country of origin.

General view of the exterior of the Dubai mall after the UAE government eased a curfew and allowed stores to open. (Reuters)
General view of the exterior of the Dubai mall after the UAE government eased a curfew and allowed stores to open. (Reuters)

Travelers from 29 countries are required to take a test before boarding and also on arrival in the Emirates.

However, children under the age of 12 or with moderate to severe disabilities are exempt from testing. For passengers who take a PCR test on arrival, they must self-isolate until they receive their results.

“All other passengers can take a COVID-19 PCR test 96 hours before their flight and carry their printed negative test certificate with them when they travel,” read the Emirates website last week.

Read more:

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For answers on the cost of the test, what documents are required, and information on appointment booking, read Al Arabiya English’s guide on the new requirements.

The 37 countries with recognized laboratories, according to the new information from Emirates, include:

Afghanistan
Argentina
Australia
Bahrain
Bangladesh
The Czech Republic
Denmark
Egypt
Ethiopia
France
Ghana
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Ivory Coast
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Oman
Pakistan
The Philippines
Poland
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
South Africa
Sudan
Tanzania
Tunisia
Turkey
UK
US