The airline is also taking a series of precautionary measures in the background of the global pandemic
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Emirates, the state-owned flag carrier airline based in Dubai, has introduced a rapid coronavirus blood test for passengers flying out of its home base.
The airlines, which had suspended all flights after UAE had sealed its borders on March 26 this year to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, resumed limited outbound operations early in April so that foreign nationals could return home.
The procedure is being conducted in coordination with Dubai Health Authority (DHA) as an additional precaution. Passengers on the April 15 flight to Tunisia were the first batch to be tested for COVID-19 before departing from Dubai. The airline's Twitter handle mentioned that the tests are being conducted for travellers to countries requiring COVID-19 certificates.
Emirates becomes the first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers. The 10-minute tests are conducted by @DHA_Dubai at @DXB Terminal 3 for travellers to countries requiring COVID-19 test certificates. https://t.co/3j6jFFlxzY pic.twitter.com/rgxB09vh1I— Emirates Airline (@emirates) April 15, 2020
The airline has stated that it's the first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers.
The quick blood test will be conducted at the Group Check-In area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 and the results will be available in 10 minutes.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates' Chief Operating Officer, said the airline is working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights.
The airline is also taking regular precautions for the safety of its employees and passengers, including adhering to social-distancing norms during check-in and boarding, installing protective barriers at each check-in desk, and mandatory use of gloves, masks and hand sanitisers for all employees at the airport. Passengers are also required to wear their own masks when at the airport and on board the aircraft.
All Emirates aircraft are going through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes in Dubai, after each journey. Cabin baggage is currently not accepted on flights. Only laptops, handbags, briefcases and baby items are being allowed as carry-on items. All other items have to be checked in. Cabin baggage allowance will be added to customers’ check-in baggage allowance. Emirates has also modified its inflight services to follow health and safety rules, which includes removing all magazines and other print reading material, and modifying the packaging and presentation of food and beverage served on board.
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