KARACHI: In view of difficulties being faced by UAE-bound passengers, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said on Wednesday that the counters for conducting rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for Covid-19 will become functional within two days.
It said that the services of Pakistani labs accredited by the UAE authorities would be available at the Jinnah International Airport four hours before the departure of passengers going abroad, adding that the fee of the test would have to be paid by the travellers.
The airport administration said that the counters are being set up at the domestic lounge due to the non-availability of space at the international lounge. It further said that the counters would continue to work 24 hours a day.
“The CAA is finalising all possible measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the authority further stated in a statement.
The decision comes after hundreds of passengers were barred from travelling to Dubai for not having a rapid PCR test, which is required to be conducted within four hours before the departure of the flight.
On Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates again revised its travel rules for its residents living in Pakistan and five other countries and exempted them from carrying the Covid-19 vaccination certificate while flying into Dubai.
The travellers will also be required to have a valid Covid-19 test certificate issued within 48 hours between the time of sample collection and scheduled flight departure.
Only Covid-19 PCR test reports from certified labs that issue a QR code linked to the original report will be accepted.
Travellers will also need to undergo a Covid-19 PCR rapid test four hours before the departure of their flight, which will be once again carried out upon their arrival in Dubai. It was further said that the Rapid Antigen Test will not be accepted.
The advisory maintained that UAE nationals were exempted from the new travel advisory, but would have to undertake a Covid‑19 PCR test upon their arrival in Dubai.