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Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management announces new air travel protocols for Dubai citizens, residents and visitors

21 Jun, 2020

  • Under the directives of Mohammed bin Rashid and follow-up of Hamdan bin Mohammed
  • Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management announces new air travel protocols for Dubai citizens, residents and visitors
  • Dubai to welcome returning residents from tomorrow
  • Citizens and residents permitted to travel overseas from 23 June 2020
  • Dubai to welcome tourists from 7 July 2020; tourists required to present recent COVID-19 negative certificate or undergo testing at Dubai airports
  • Travelers must stringently comply with preventive measures and safety procedures put in place by Dubai and destination countries
  • COVID-19 positive cases will be isolated for 14 days
  • Airlines have the right to prevent passengers from boarding if they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms
  • International health insurance, COVID-19 test and completed Health Declaration Form are mandatory for tourists visiting Dubai

Under the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the follow-up of Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management headed by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced new protocols and conditions for citizens, residents and tourists travelling into or out of Dubai airports.

The new announcement will allow thousands of people affected by the worldwide restrictions in passenger air traffic since the start of the pandemic to resume their travel plans.

The Supreme Committee said it has taken a decision to allow foreign nationals holding residency visas issued in Dubai to return to the emirate starting tomorrow (Monday 22 June). It will also allow citizens and residents to travel to any foreign country starting Tuesday, June 23 provided the destination countries agree to receive them. Furthermore, they should commit to observing precautionary measures outlined by the countries they are visiting. The Committee has also decided to start welcoming visitors and tourists from overseas beginning 7 July 2020. The new decisions are supported by protocols and preventive measures aimed at safeguarding the health and wellbeing of all passengers travelling into or out of Dubai Airports.

The Committee said the marked progress achieved by the emirate in combating the virus with strict precautionary measures implemented at national and local levels has earned it worldwide praise. Dubai’s rapid response to the global pandemic combined with the concerted efforts of the government and private sector and the commitment of the community have helped significantly reduce the spread of the virus.

Return of UAE residents

Residents holding Dubai-issued visas are permitted to return to the emirate by pre-booking flights on any airline on the condition that they obtain an approval coordinated between the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA Dubai) and the airline. Residents must fill a ‘Health Declaration Form’ before embarking on their journey to confirm they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. The airline has the right to refuse boarding if passengers display any symptoms of COVID-19.

Upon arrival at Dubai airports, all residents will have to undergo a PCR test to screen them for COVID-19. Residents should register their complete details in the COVID-19 DXB smart app available online on arrival and before leaving the terminal.

Residents entering Dubai should not leave their house until they receive their COVID-19 test result. If they test positive, they will have to home isolate themselves for 14 days.

Residents sharing homes or living in high-density housing facilities will be isolated at an institutional facility if they test positive. The resident’s employer should make arrangements for the isolation facility in accordance with guidelines approved by the COVID-19 Command and Control Centre or bear the costs of a paid isolation facility provided by the government.

Citizens and residents travelling abroad

There will be no restrictions on the overseas destinations that citizens and residents can travel to. However, they must comply with guidelines and protocols followed in the countries they are travelling to. They are also required to fill in a ‘Health Declaration Form’ before embarking to confirm they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms. The airline has the right to refuse boarding if they display any symptoms of COVID-19.

On their return to Dubai, citizens and residents will have to undergo a PCR test at the airport. They must register their details on the COVID-19 DXB app and commit to restricting themselves at home until their test results are available. In case they are COVID-19 positive, they must isolate themselves for 14 days and adhere to all guidelines and measures outlined by the COVID-19 Command and Control Centre.

International tourists

International tourists travelling by air to Dubai must ensure they meet all requirements for entry to the UAE. Downloading the COVID-19 DXB app and registering their details on it are critically important since it facilitates easy coordination and communication with health authorities if they experience COVID-19 symptoms. In addition to filling the ‘Health Declaration Form’ before embarking, they should ensure they have a valid health insurance in order to enter the country. The airline has the right to refuse boarding at the airport of departure if they display any COVID-19 symptoms.

Tourists must do a PCR test with a maximum validity of four days (96 hours) ahead of the date of departure. They will be required to show proof of not being infected with the virus on arrival at Dubai airports. If they cannot provide proof, they will undergo a PCR test at the airport.

All arrivals will be subject to thermal screenings. If a traveler is suspected to have COVID-19 symptoms, Dubai airports have the right to re-test to ensure the tourist is free of the virus. It is mandatory for tourists who test positive for COVID-19 to register their details on the COVID-19 DXB app and isolate themselves at an institutional facility provided by the government for 14 days at their own expense.

All positive COVID-19 cases should strictly adhere to the measures outlined by the COVID-19 Command and Control Centre.

Passenger responsibilities 

The Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management stressed that travelers should commit to meeting their responsibilities to ensure their safety and that of others. These include:

  • All passengers must make themselves aware of the protocols and conditions specified by the Government of Dubai and destination countries before travelling and ensure they comply with them.
  • Passengers must disclose any health symptoms before travelling by filling out the ‘Health Declaration Form’ provided by the airline company.
  • UAE nationals must notify UAE embassies in the countries they are visiting if they test positive for COVID-19.
  • Tourists must ensure they have international health insurance before travelling.
  • All tourists must show that they have tested negative in a PCR test done four days (96 hours) before the departure date. If they cannot provide test results, they will be tested at Dubai airports.
  • Those who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate themselves for 14 days at their home or in an institutional facility provided by the government at their own expense.
  • Travelers must strictly follow physical distancing guidelines in accordance with measures followed at Dubai airports and use face masks at all times.
  • All passengers should stringently observe precautionary measures and monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms.

The Committee stressed that comprehensive precautionary measures will continue to be implemented in Dubai as previously announced. Compliance with travel measures is critical to prevent delays in completing check-in and boarding procedures. Air travel protocols, conditions and preventive measures for citizens, residents and tourists can be viewed on the websites of all airlines operating out of Dubai airports, including Emirates Airline (www.emirates.com) and flydubai (www.flydubai.com).

Passengers will be provided all assistance required to travel safely and comfortably, consistent with the high standards of Dubai Airports that have earned it top global rankings over the past several years.   

The Supreme Committee commended employees of national airlines for their commitment to helping residents and citizens enjoy a smooth travel experience despite the challenges in the current circumstances.

It expressed its appreciation for the relentless efforts of the international community to mitigate the impact of the crisis. The Committee also praised the UAE's role in providing assistance to friendly countries through various initiatives to enable them to overcome the repercussions of the pandemic.

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