On-Site PCR Test Facilities at Indian Airports Lead to Passenger Surge to and from UAE

With the majority of the airports in India now offering on-site rapid PCR test facilities, travellers from the country are not likely to face last-minute flight cancellations. 

Such facilities have been installed at Indian airports after the United Arab Emirates allowed the conditional return of Indian expats along with other nationals across the world earlier this month. A passenger landing in the UAE required an RT PCR test, taken four hours before departure. After the revised travel rules by the UAE aviation ministry, airports and airlines have been working towards meeting this requirement. This development came after several flights were cancelled and passengers got stranded due to nonfulfillment of the travel criteria. 

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport recently set up a rapid PCR test facility. Each test costs around Rs 5,000 and the results can be accessed within 45 minutes. Similarly, Mumbai airport is commencing the test for around Rs 4,500. Delivery of the results varies between 30 minutes and one hour. The lab at Kempegowda international airport (Bengaluru) charges around Rs 3,200 and issues reports within 30 minutes to two hours. 

Passengers have complained that the cost of the rapid tests at the airports is much higher than expected. A normal PCR test in the UAE reportedly costs Dh 65 (INR 1300). Some private clinics, however, charge around Dh 150 (3000) or more. 

Fares of flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru to Dubai are fluctuating between Dh 1,000 and Dh 1,500. Though the fares may be back to normal (Dh 400 to Dh 600) in a few weeks. 

Before you travel to the UAE, understand its travel guidelines and get approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA). If you don’t know how to apply to get the (ICA) and enter UAE, here’s a quick guide. 

Below are the requirements by the ICA you need to fulfill before planning to visit the UAE: 

  • Get inoculated fully by the UAE-approved vaccines 
  • 14 days must have passed since getting the second jab 
  • Obtained a vaccine certificate approved by the UAE’s official authorities 

You don’t have to get vaccinated if you fall under the following categories: 

  • Medical personnel working in the UAE 
  • Education sector employees 
  • Students studying in the UAE universities 
  • Workers in federal and local government authorities 
  • Patients whose treatments are ongoing in the UAE and people who deserve humanitarian consideration 

Every traveller needs to apply via the ICA link (https://uaeentry.ica.gov.ae) to receive the necessary approval. 

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