Blood tests before flights
Emirates has become the first airline to conduct blood tests on passengers before boarding fights. In conjunction with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) passengers on a flight to Tunisia were all tested for COVID-19 using a rapid blood tests which provides results within ten minutes.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates Chief Operating Officer said: “The testing process has gone smoothly and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Dubai Health Authority for their initiatives and innovative solutions. We are working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights, this will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers travelling to countries that require Covid-19 test certificates.”
Blood tests do not diagnose active coronavirus infections, they check for antibodies, Their presence means a person was exposed to the virus and developed a resistance. However it is a step in the right direction and may point to a way forward as countries struggle to get their borders open again.
The airline’s check-in and boarding formalities have also been adapted with social distancing in mind. Protective barriers have been installed at each check-in desk and gloves, masks and hand sanitisers have been made mandatory for all employees at the airport. Passengers are also required to wear their own masks when at the airport and on board the aircraft.
Cabin bags are currently not accepted. The only carry-on items allowed are limited to laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items. All other items have to be checked in, and Emirates will add the cabin baggage allowance to customers’ check-in baggage allowance.
Most of the flights still operating around the world are repatriation flights that have been arranged by governments to help citizens stranded abroad.
Picture: Passenger receives a blood test prior to boarding