Emirates starts testing passengers for coronavirus before flight

19.04.2020 at 05:07

Travel news

Perhaps a sign of what the future holds for air travelers, Dubai-based airline Emirates has begun carrying out Covid-19 blood tests on passengers at the airport prior to flights.

According to a statement released by the airline, the first rapid Covid-19 blood tests took place on Wednesday at Dubai International Airport, with passengers on a flight to Tunisia all reportedly tested before departure.

The tests were conducted by the Dubai Health Authority at the Group Check-in area of Terminal 3 and results were available within 10 minutes.

Emirates claims to be the world’s first airline to conduct such tests.

“We are working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates Chief Operating Officer, in the statement.

“This will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers traveling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates.”

The airline has not stated whether any passengers would be refused boarding based on the results of the test.

Serology (blood) tests aren’t meant to diagnose active coronavirus infections. Rather, they check for proteins in the immune system, known as antibodies, through a blood sample. Their presence means a person was exposed to the virus and developed antibodies against it.

Airlines around the world have grounded the majority of their fleets due to the coronavirus pandemic, with international air travel slowing to a near standstill as countries close their borders or instill stringent quarantine measures.

As airlines scramble to staunch revenue losses and look for ways to get air travel started again once pandemic-related lockdowns end, quick-testing could offer ways to offer passenger confidence and convince governments to end travel and entry restrictions.

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