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Our Correspondent

Passengers flying out of Dubai can now use their Emirates ID cards to show their vaccination and PCR status at the check-in counters at Dubai Airport, Emirates airline has announced.

This is done through a collaboration between Emirates airline and Dubai Health Authority. It was announced on the first day of the Arab Health 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, where both entities have stands.

In line with Dubai’s paperless strategy, Emirates staff at the airline’s stand at Arab Health showed how they can find out the passengers’ COVID-19 vaccination and PCR status by simply scanning their Emirates ID.

“When the passenger comes to the check-in counter, they will be asked to scan their Emirates ID and that will show on our screens if their vaccination is complete – means if they have taken both the doses; and if their PCR test result is valid (done within the stipulated time before travelling). This will do away with the need of physically carrying their vaccination cards or PCR result reports, making the check-in process faster and smoother,” said an Emirates airline agent. “Also, for tourists who do not have an Emirates ID, we can scan their passport, and in case their vaccination is DHA-approved, the system will reflect that. If not, then they will have to present their vaccination card or an online link to their card. Their PCR test will also be reflected through the passport scan”.

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The Emirates ID will disclose the name of the vaccine taken by the passenger, the date of the second dose and the inoculation centre. This is a ‘smart’ option for passengers, saving time for both passengers and staff.

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Only three DHA-approved vaccinations – Pfizer, Sinopharm and Astrazeneca –  are accepted by Emirates as of now.

There will be no breach of privacy as the airline will only use the vaccination details and not other personal details of the passenger.

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Passengers are also requested to download the new mobile app International Air Transport Association (IATA) digital travel pass, which enables passengers to create a digital passport to provide proof of their testing and vaccination history. The app only works on iPhones for now.

Once the passenger uploads documents on the IATA app, it will allow them to get accurate information on COVID-19 restrictions, quarantine rules of the country they are flying to, tests, vaccines and other measures they require prior to travel as well as details of testing centres.