As per new guidelines issued by the Dubai International Airport today, the United Arab Emirates has waived off the mandatory Airport Rapid RT-PCR test before boarding a flight for UAE. This requirement has been waived off for travellers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the four countries which make up for the maximum expatriate population of the UAE.
This Rapid COVID RT-PCR was mandatory, even after the RT-PCR issued by the hospitals of the domicile of the travellers and used to cost upwards of Rs 2,700, which was a redundant requirement, since the travellers were already carrying a RT-PCR taken within 48 hrs of travel from their domicile hospital. For e.g. a traveller from Udaipur needed to have their sample tested within 48 hrs of travel to any international destination. Even after getting this test done and carrying a stamped certificate with a QR code, the passengers had to once again undertake another Rapid RT-PCR which costed Rs 2,700 in Ahmedabad International Airport and upwards of Rs 4,000 at Mumbai and Delhi International Airports, which was a redundant protocol at one end and on the other end was an additional hassle for the already troubled passenger who had to arrive at the airport all decked up at least 5 hours before the departure time.
Waiving off this protocol, the UAE has kept the minimum 48hr RT-PCR mandatory as well as the PCR that will be conducted at the port of arrival in the UAE, viz. Dubai International Airport, Abu Dhabi International Airport and Sharjah International Airport.