April 27 2021  |  Airline & Terminal News

Digital COVID-19 records verification begins in Dubai

By Rick Lundstrom

Emirates and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) have begun to implement full digital verification of COVID-19 medical records connected to testing and vaccination for travelers based in the UAE.

Emirates passengers who have undertaken a PCR test in Dubai can choose to check in without presenting their physical COVID-19 PCR test report. Also, passengers who have received their COVID-19 vaccination at a DHA health center in Dubai can, together with their COVID-19 PCR test results, have their documents synchronized during flight check in.

“The new streamlined verification procedures will enable secure and faster processing times for customers departing from Dubai International Airport. The information will then be matched-up with the entry requirements of the destination,” said a release from Emirates.

Emirates will only process the relevant information specifically related to the COVID-19 entry requirements of the customer’s destination. Once check-in is completed, information related to COVID-19 medical records will be immediately discarded from the Emirates systems.

Recently a Memorandum of Understanding between Emirates and the Dubai Health Authority made Dubai one of the first cities in the world to implement full digital verification of traveler medical records related to COVID-19 testing and vaccination.

“The UAE government has been very supportive and is one of the leading countries in the use of technology and digital applications,” said Adel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer for Emirates. “This initiative is in line with the government’s vision and we are delighted to take this step within the aviation sector to cooperate with DHA in linking our systems together to enhance the customer experience by processing the relevant documents in a more efficient, secure and effective manner. Our partnership with the Dubai Health Authority in managing passenger travel is unique and is a first step towards other initiatives that will be launched in the near future. This is a testament to Dubai’s progressive approach in delivering innovative digital solutions across all aspects of services.”

Ahmed Al Nuaimi, CEO of Joint Corporate Support Services at the DHA added:The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has been strongly foraying into paperless healthcare over the past few years to enhance patient convenience and further improve healthcare delivery. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have deployed and fostered the use of digital healthcare. The strategic foresight into investing in digital healthcare has paved the way today for such a pioneering integration. This partnership will directly help streamline and make travel easy and convenient as well as ensure validation of all necessary COVID-19 medical records.”

In the coming months, the next phase of digital verification will see secure integration of health records within the IATA Travel Pass as another option to help facilitate travel for passengers. Passengers who have done PCR testing or vaccinations outside of Dubai will be required to physically provide their travel documents at check-in. Some destination countries require travelers to carry physical documents when traveling.

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