UAE updates COVID-19 entry protocols for international passengers

UAE updates COVID-19 entry protocols for international passengers

UAE authorities have updated the entry protocols for travelling willing to visit the country in view of the developments in the COVID-19 situation across the world. As per the updated COVID-19 travel protocols, Emirati and GCC citizens can enter the country using ID cards. On April 29, National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) announced that Emirati and GCC citizens are now permitted to enter the country using ID cards, without the need to show their passports.

In addition, fully vaccinated passengers do not required to present a PCR test result for entry into the UAE. As of February 26, 2022, fully vaccinated passengers must present a valid vaccination certificate confirming that they are fully-vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine. The certificate must include a QR code.

Protocols for unvaccinated passengers

Unvaccinated residents or visitors travellers to the UAE are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate issued within 48 hours of their sample collection. It must be issued by an approved health service provider with a QR code.

The Emirates airlines website also notes that the test certificates sent via SMS are not accepted for the flight. The PCR test result must also have a readable QR code. Furthermore, transit passengers are required to follow the necessary entry rules and conditions of the final destination.

Unvaccinated passengers under the age of 16

Unvaccinated passengers under the age of 16 arriving in the UAE are exempted from presenting a negative PCR test result upon arrival. But NCEMA has called on those passengers to adhere to all preventive and precautionary measures in place in the country in order to enhance protection against the virus. 

COVID-19 PCR test and vaccination exemptions

These are the categories exempted from presenting COVID-19 vaccination certificate and PCR test result upon entry in the UAE:

  • Children below 12 years old.
  • Passengers with moderate to severe disabilities: Moderate or severe disability includes neurological disorders and intellectual or developmental disabilities. For example, passengers with acute spinal cord injury, Alzheimer's disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Ataxia, Autism spectrum, Bell's palsy, Brain tumours, Cerebral aneurysm, Cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy and seizures.

Meanwhile, passengers with visual impairment, hearing impairment as well as physically challenged passengers are required to hold a negative COVID-19 RT PCR test certificate as per the travel requirements in place in the country.

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