Pakistani passengers barred from entering UAE for not having rapid PCR test at airport

Gulf authorities allowing passengers with rapid PCR test conducted at the origin airport

02:27 PM | 9 Aug, 2021
Pakistani passengers barred from entering UAE for not having rapid PCR test at airport
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KARACHI – Pakistani passengers have been barred from entering the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for not having a rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for Covid-19 at the airport.

Reports in local media cited that Pakistani passengers, now listed in the high-risk category, would not be able to enter the Gulf state without a negative rapid PCR test report as the rapid PCR test should be done at the airport of the origin country.

The non-availability of rapid PCR test facilities in the South Asian country has left thousands of Dubai-bound passengers stranded.

Earlier, Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced that Pakistan did not have the resources to conduct PCR tests and only rapid antigen testing was currently being used as a method of testing passengers for Covid-19 at the airports.

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CAA stated that the rapid PCR testing facility cannot be provided to departing passengers for Dubai as it was currently unavailable in Pakistan. It also requested the Foreign Office to take up the matter with gulf officials on a priority basis so that they can reconsider their policy.

Meanwhile, some laboratories in Pakistan offer the facility, but it is useless because the rapid test is not conducted within the premises of the airport.