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Pakistani Passengers Barred from Boarding Dubai-bound Flights

by Staff Report

File photo. Farooq Naeem—AFP

CAA says development a result of U.A.E. now requiring all passengers to provide a negative Rapid PCR test conducted no earlier than 4 hours prior to take-off

Hundreds of Pakistani passengers scheduled to fly to Dubai were on Friday barred from boarding their flights due to revised COVID-19 guidelines issued by the United Arab Emirates that require negative Rapid PCR tests prior to departure.

“This is to inform the general public at large that the U.A.E. authorities have implemented new stringent measures for passengers traveling to Dubai from a list of states, including Pakistan, and as a result of the said policies, airline operators have had to offload passengers scheduled to travel from Pakistan to Dubai,” read a statement issued by the Civil Aviation Authority, which stressed that this was a condition imposed by U.A.E. authorities and was not required by Pakistan.

According to the statement, all Dubai-bound passengers from Pakistan must now provide a negative PCR Test result obtained no earlier than 48 hours prior to commencement to travel as well as a negative Rapid PCR test conducted no earlier than 4 hours prior to departure.

“The stipulation has been mandated by U.A.E. authorities without any advance information to Pakistan CAA or any other stakeholder,” it said, adding that so many passengers had to be barred from departure because Pakistan lacks Rapid PCR Testing facilities at airports.

“Despite enforcement of such measures for Pakistani passengers without any advance notification to us, Pakistan CAA has been facilitating airline operators in implementation of any special requirements posed by U.A.E. authorities,” read the statement, adding that it had engaged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take up the matter with the U.A.E. through diplomatic channels to develop a solution to the issue.

Earlier this week, the U.A.E. had issued a travel advisory saying that passengers from Pakistan needed to provide a negative PCR Test obtained within 48 hours of departure; the notice had contained no mention of any kind of “Rapid PCR test.”

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