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In a press release published earlier this week, Emirates announced that they would be working with the Dubai Health Authority to introduce additional COVID-19 precautions, including rapid on-site COVID-19 testing for passengers. The innovative move had already had its first trial run earlier that day, with passengers set to depart for Tunisia being the first group to undergo the new testing procedure.
The testing station was conveniently set up at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3 in the Group Check-in area, and results of the quick blood test were available to passengers within 10 minutes. Emirates Chief Operating Officer, Adel Al Redha, confirmed that the tests were conducted by DHA officials, and thanked the Authority for their involvement in and support of the project. He went on to express plans to increase the testing capabilities so as to aid passengers entering countries where COVID-19 test certificates are required upon arrival. He reiterated that the health and safety of staff and passengers remains a top priority for the airline.
“We are glad to work with Emirates on the successful implementation of rapid COVID-19 testing at the airport for departing travellers,” said HE Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the DHA. He said that the DHA were proactively working with various bodies, including various government organisations and the private health sector to tackle COVID-19. “We believe strongly that the most effective solutions require close partnerships with other public and private sector organisations.”
Emirates has instituted a number of protective measures since the pandemic was announced by the WHO. All employees are required to wear gloves and masks and use sanitiser frequently. Barriers have been placed at all check-in desks to ensure both passenger and staff safety during any interactions. Passengers are also required to wear their own masks, both while onboard a flight, as well as in the airport.
The inflight experience has also been modified to allow for social distancing protocol. Magazines and reading materials are no longer available, while cabin baggage is limited to a laptop, briefcase or handbag only. Food continues to be served during flights, however packaging has been modified to reduce contact. All aircraft are subject to thorough cleaning and disinfection after each journey.
While many other airlines have suspended services during the pandemic, we hope that the same strict procedures will be implemented as flights gradually resume and things return to normal. For now, stay safe and be kind to one another.
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