COVID-19 : Latest travel updates
To help you have a smooth travel experience, we've rounded up general and airport guidelines to consider before travelling from the UAE, as well as information about entry restrictions and measures being taken at some key destinations
Before booking your flight
- Check passenger procedures for travelling to and from Dubai. Passenger procedures have recently changed, so check what you need to know depending on whether you're a visitor travelling to Dubai or a citizen or resident travelling abroad or returning to Dubai. You may need to show that you have adequate international health insurance coverage to be accepted for travel.
- Check for any restrictions. Before you book your flight, check the IATA Travel Centre website to understand what restrictions are in place at your destination of travel.
- Check for quarantine requirements. Don't forget to check any quarantine requirements for when you arrive at your destination, as well as for your return if you're planning a round trip.
- Make sure you can obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test result to travel to Dubai. If you want to board a flight to Dubai (even if you are transiting in Dubai), you must be able to present a printed copy of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result in English or Arabic to be accepted for travel. Soft copies on mobile phones will not be accepted. You will need to ensure the test result is issued no more than 96 hours* prior to your departure to Dubai. You should get your test result from a UAE government approved laboratory or one of the laboratories listed here. Children under the age of 12 and passengers with moderate to severe disabilities are exempt from testing.
*If the validity period of your test result is different in the country you are departing from or travelling to, you should follow the requirement which is most restrictive.
- Make sure you can obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test result to travel from Dubai to the EU or UK. If you want to board a flight from Dubai to the European Union or United Kingdom, you must be able to present a printed copy of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result prior to departure.
Before leaving home
- Check you have the necessary documents for travel. If required, you must download and complete a health declaration form to present to staff when you arrive at the airport. You may also need to show that you have adequate international health insurance coverage to be accepted for travel. If you are travelling to Dubai, you must download the COVID19 - DXB Smart App (from Apple App Store or from Google Play Store) and register with the Dubai Health Authority prior to arrival in Dubai.
- Ensure you have no COVID-19 symptoms. You will be subject to thermal screening at the airport and you must be determined to have no symptoms before being allowed to travel. Symptoms of COVID-19 include the following:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
- Check in for your flight online. If available, please use online check-in for your flight to help reduce contact with airport staff and support social distancing measures.
- Prepare a travel hygiene pack. Carry your own travel hygiene pack with you to the airport. Include enough masks for the entire duration of your travel along with hand sanitiser (less than 100ml) and antibacterial hand wipes. Gloves are optional. Children aged six years and over are required to wear a mask.
- Limit your hand baggage. Hand baggage will be highly restricted. You will only be allowed to carry a single piece of hand baggage, which should be the size of a small handbag, briefcase or laptop bag and weigh less than 7kg (to fit under the seat in front of you). Include essential items only. Make sure you have your travel hygiene pack, as well as all the necessary documents for travel, including your passport and other valuables, your completed health declaration form, your full itinerary and your boarding pass if you were able to check-in online. Trolley bags and other larger items will not be permitted in the cabin.
- Put your mask on. Before leaving home, wash your hands and put your mask on. You'll be required to wear this at every stage of your journey from the moment you leave home until you reach your final destination. Children aged six years and over are required to wear a mask.
At the airport
- Arrive on time. To allow for thermal screening and other additional procedures, you should arrive at the airport (wearing your mask) 3 hours before your flight (unless advised otherwise). Temperature checks may take place before check-in or at other points in the airport.
- Present your health declaration form. If required, please have your completed health declaration form ready to present to staff when you enter the terminal building.
- Drop baggage at bag-drop desk. If you have checked in for your flight online and have your boarding pass printed, you can drop your baggage at the bag-drop desk.
- Pass through security and immigration. Continue to wear your mask as you pass through security and immigration and continue to observe social distancing, following floor signage and avoiding crowded areas. Don't forget to use any hand-sanitisation stations provided.
- Wait for boarding. When you reach the departure gates, continue to wear your mask and observe social distancing by waiting in designated seating. At Dubai International, the availability of food and beverage outlets will be limited.
- Proceed to board. Only proceed to board when you are called by the boarding gate staff, continuing to maintain a safe distance from other passengers and airport staff. To help with smooth boarding, have your passport open at the picture page. Please note that you must wear a mask to be able to travel. Children aged six years and over are required to wear a mask.
- Board the bus. You will only be allowed to board the bus if you are wearing a mask. The capacity of the bus will be limited so you can maintain social distance from other passengers.
On board the aircraft
- Board the aircraft. Continue wearing your mask as you board the aircraft. Hold your boarding pass at arm's length for a member of crew to inspect. After your boarding pass has been checked, stow your own hand baggage and take your assigned seat.
- Stay in your assigned seat. During the flight, you must remain in the seat assigned to you and keep your seatbelt fastened. Limit your movement around the aircraft to avoid close contact with crew and other passengers. Please do not enter the galley area. Press the call bell if you need to attract the attention of a member of crew.
- Use designated lavatories. If required and only when there is no queue, use a designated lavatory. Economy class passengers must use the lavatories at the rear of the aircraft and business class passengers must use the lavatory at the front of the aircraft. Try to reduce visits to the lavatory as much as possible to protect our crew and other passengers.
- Protect our crew and other passengers. Wear your mask throughout the flight and sanitise your hands regularly. If you need to sneeze or cough, lower your head, turn away from fellow passengers or members of crew and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow.
- Follow crew instructions. Always follow the instructions of our cabin crew and comply with any request to have your temperature taken or to complete forms required by the authorities at the destination of your travel.
- Notify crew if you feel unwell. If you start to feel unwell at any time during the flight, or begin to have difficulty breathing, you must inform a member of crew immediately and follow any instructions given.
Arriving at your destination
- Leave the aircraft. Continue to wear your mask as you leave the aircraft, retrieving your own hand baggage from the overhead locker. If there is congestion in the aisle, remain seated until you can leave and still maintain a safe distance from other passengers.
- Be prepared for medical screening. Medical screening (including temperature testing) may take place on arrival at your destination. You may also be required to present documentation which indicates that you are negative for COVID-19. Additionally, you may be required to quarantine or self-isolate. These mandatory requirements may need to be met at your own cost.
- Pass through security and immigration. Continue to wear your mask as you pass through security and immigration and continue to observe social distancing, following floor signage and avoiding crowded areas. Don't forget to use any hand-sanitisation stations provided. Please also note that Smart Gates at Dubai International are not currently in use. If you are transferring onto another flight and don't hold a boarding pass, you'll need to proceed to the transfer desk.
- Collect your baggage. Continue to wear your mask as you wait for your baggage. To avoid crowding, stand away from the baggage belt to allow other passengers to retrieve their baggage. Once you've retrieved your own baggage, wipe the handles with an antibacterial wipe.