Coronavirus: Dubai's new travel rules and testing explained
The vast majority of arrivals will be swabbed and must quarantine at home until the results are ready
Dubai will allow residents to travel abroad from Tuesday - and welcome back tourists from July 7.
Emiratis and expats can travel to any country that has flights operating out of Dubai.
And testing airline passengers for Covid-19 plays a key part of the decision to lift restrictions.
The new system has a series of rules that differ depending on your situation.
Here we explain:
I'm a Emirati or resident travelling abroad. What do I need to know?
- You can travel anywhere abroad, as long as it's on an airline approved to fly in and out of Dubai
- You are not tested before you leave
- But you must sign a Health Declaration Form stating you do not have any Covid-19 symptoms, such as a fever, cough, sore throat or flu-like aches
- Register for the Covid-19 DXB app, so that it can be activated on your return
- Ensure you are up to speed on the rules of the country you are visiting, as you may need to be tested there or undergo a period of quarantine
I'm a Emirati or resident travelling returning home from holiday
- You will receive a PCR test - that's the nasal swab used to identify Covid-19 - when you arrive in the terminal
- You'll be allowed to take a taxi home but need to stay there until the results, which can take several days, are ready. They'll be sent to your app, or you may receive a call
- If you're negative you can leave your home and end your quarantine at that point
- If you're positive, you must by law self-quarantine for at least 14 days and you can expected to be tested several times until you're clear. If you feel ill and need medical help, you should contact the Ministry of Health on 800 11111 or Dubai Health Authority at 800 342.
- Importantly, if you test positive and live in shared or high-density housing, you would be rehoused in a special facility used for patients. Your employer should arrange such a facility, a 'hotel hospital' for example, or choose somewhere provided by the government, who your employer would pay costs to.
I'm a tourist visiting Dubai from July 7. What do I need to know?
- You should take a PCR test up to four days before your flight to Dubai, in a local hospital or private clinic for example. Make sure you take the results to Dubai with you. If the test if valid and recognised and you have no symptoms, you are not tested in Dubai and not quarantined
- If you do not arrange your own test before you fly, you will be swabbed when you land in Dubai. You must self-quarantine until the results are ready
- You must have full medical travel insurance and need to sign a declaration that you will be responsible for any quarantine and treatment costs if you become ill
- Download the Covid-19 DXB app and upload your details to it
I'm a Dubai resident who's been stranded abroad
- Residents holding Dubai-issued visas will be allowed to return to the emirate from Monday - but the application process has not yet been set out
Previously, UAE residents who were stranded abroad had to register for a Residents’ Entry Permit via smartservices.ica.gov.ae, run by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA). In the update issued by Dubai on Sunday, there was no reference to the ICA's system, named Tawajudi, which was set up to bring residents home
Instead, Dubai Media Office said there was an approval process co-ordinated by their airline and Dubai's immigration service, GDRFA. The authorities have been contacted for clarification
- In addition, travellers must sign a declaration that you and your insurer will bear the costs of treatment if you get Covid-19
- You do not have to take a PCR test to travel home to UAE
- But you will be tested when you arrive in Dubai and be asked to self-quarantine until your results are ready
Updated: July 8, 2020 05:24 PM