The UAE’s airlines no longer require a pre-arrival PCR test for fully vaccinated travellers following the government’s official easing of covid restrictions.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) has announced that from 26 February, travellers who have the approved QR code showing their immunisation status will no longer have to undergo a PCR test before arrival. Passengers who have not been vaccinated will still be required to undergo a PCR test within 48 hours of their arrival.
As a result, Emirates, Etihad, and flydubai have all eliminated the need for the pre-arrival test — though travellers arriving in Abu Dhabi via Etihad will still be required to complete the free test at the airport, with no additional quarantine required.
Etihad confirmed the change on its website, saying, “You no longer require a test to fly to Abu Dhabi if you’re vaccinated, under 16, or carry a Covid-19 recovery certificate.”
Etihad Airways has also posted its most recent travel guidelines following the current UAE government orders. The airline claimed that as of 26 February, fully vaccinated guests travelling to Abu Dhabi would not be required to do a pre-arrival PCR test, and a QR code must be included with proof of vaccination.
Furthermore, passengers exiting or transiting through the UAE capital will not be required to undergo a PCR test unless mandated by the final destination.
- Guests who are not vaccinated and travelling to Abu Dhabi must present a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure or a Covid-19 recovery certificate with a QR code dated within 30 days of departure.
- Children younger than 16 are exempt from the vaccination and testing requirements to fly, on arrival, or to transit.
- Passengers travelling to Abu Dhabi as their end destination will receive a free-of-charge PCR test on arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport. No further tests are required once in Abu Dhabi.
No covid PCR test for vaccinated passengers arriving in Dubai
Emirates and flydubai now carry the updated advice:
Effective 26 February 2022, passengers travelling to Dubai from all countries (GCC included) must fulfil one of the below requirements:
- Present a valid vaccination certificate(s) reflecting that the passenger is fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the WHO or the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and includes a QR code System; or
- Present a valid Negative Covid‑19 Test certificate that should be based on a molecular diagnostic test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid for SARS‑COV‑2 viral RNA that is issued within 48 hours from the time of sample collection and issued by an approved health service provider, with a QR code System; or
- Present a valid medical certificate issued by the relevant authorities that the passenger has recovered from Coronavirus SARS Cov‑19 within one (1) month from the date of recovery to the date of arrival, with a QR code system.
The nationwide requirements for close contacts of persons with covid have also been relaxed, with quarantine no longer required; nevertheless, state employees who are in close contact must take daily PCR testing for five days.
Those who test positive will still be quarantined, but measures like the tracking wristbands used in Abu Dhabi’s capital would no longer be required.