Two of the Middle East’s biggest hubs, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, require passengers to have taken a Covid-19 PCR test 96 hours before arriving. Sam Ballard reports

Passengers travelling to either Abu Dhabi or Dubai will need to have taken a Covid-19 PCR test – and received a negative result – before they arrive in either emirate. The new rules came into effect on August 1, 2020.

Etihad, the flag carrier of Abu Dhabi, said that tests must be carried out at an approved medical facility and are valid for 96 hours from being taken – the same time limit that applies in Dubai. Passengers who have Abu Dhabi as their final destination also need to seek approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.

In an official statement, Etihad said: “The PCR test must be carried out within 96 hours prior to arrival in Abu Dhabi and a negative Covid-19 PCR test result certificate from one of the approved clinics listed must be shown for approval to board.

“Children under the age of 12 and people with mild to severe disabilities are currently exempt from this PCR test requirement.”

Travellers going to the UK or EU from the UAE must also have a negative PCR Covid-19 result, taken within 96 hours or departure.

In an interesting move, Emirates, has added free global insurance cover for Covid-19. It will even help cover the cost of your funeral if you die.

In a statement, the airline explained: “As borders begin to open around the world, you can take-off to your next destination with confidence.

“We’re the first airline to provide free cover for your health and quarantine costs if you’re diagnosed with Covid-19 on your travels. We’re keeping you safe on the journey and giving you extra security wherever you are in the world.”

Other countries have set up their own regimes. At Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, arrivals from 16 countries, including the US, are having to produce a negative test result upon arrival. France 24, the news channel, reported that there was some confusion as to whether tests needed to be done 72 hours before boarding or landing.

Those who do not produce a valid negative test certificate have to undergo a compulsory nasal test. France’s list includes: the US, Brazil, Algeria, Turkey, India, Israel, South Africa, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Panama, Madagascar, Peru, Qatar, Oman and Serbia.

Passengers from high-risk countries do not need to self-isolate while awaiting the result of the test they took upon arrival.

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