CAA to establish rapid PCR test facilities at airports to facilitate Dubai travellers

Authority says all labs approved by UAE will establish their counters at major airports across Pakistan

Our Correspondent August 07, 2021
UAE lifted a ban on transit passenger traffic from Pakistan and other countries on August 5. PHOTO: FILE


The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that it will provide space to UAE-approved laboratories to establish their counters at all major airports of the country to conduct rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for Covid-19.

The decision comes after hundreds of passengers were barred from travelling to Dubai for not having rapid PCR test, which is required to be conducted within four hours before the departure of flight.

In a statement, CAA DG Khaqan Murtaza said all Pakistani labs accredited by the UAE authorities and its airlines will establish their counters at all international airports of the country to facilitate the travellers.

He added that the decision has been taken in view of difficulties being faced by UAE-bound passengers.

A day earlier, the CAA had said that the country did not have resources to conduct PCR tests and only rapid antigen testing was currently being used as a method of testing passengers for Covid-19 at the airports.

Also read: CAA urges govt to take up issue of rapid PCR tests with UAE

In a letter written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the authority stated that the rapid PCR testing facility cannot be provided to departing passengers for Dubai as it was currently unavailable in Pakistan. It urged the MoFA officials to take up the matter with relevant authorities in the UAE on priority basis so that they can reconsider their policy.

The UAE's National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority (NCEMA) had lifted a ban on transit passenger traffic from Pakistan and other countries on August 5.

NCEMA said on Twitter that passengers travelling from countries where flights had been suspended would be able to transit through its airports as long as they present negative PCR tests taken 72 hours prior to departure.

Final destination approval would also have to be provided, the authority said, adding that UAE departure airports would arrange separate lounges for transiting passengers.


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