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 travellers based in the UAE.
Emirates customers who have undertaken a PCR test in Dubai can choose to check-in without presenting their physical COVID-19 PCR test report. Moreover, customers who have received their COVID-19 vaccination at a DHA health centre in Dubai can, together with their COVID-19 PCR test results, have their documents synchronised 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.
Emirates will only process the relevant information specifically related to the COVID-19 entry requirements of the customer’s destination. Once check-in formalities are completed, information related to COVID-19 medical records will be immediately discarded from the Emirates systems.
The integration comes less than two months after the signing of the MoU between Emirates and the Dubai Health Authority, and is a first-of-its-kind agreement between an airline and a government health authority. The integration also makes Dubai one of the first cities in the world to implement full digital verification of traveller medical records related to COVID-19 testing and vaccination.
Adel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer for Emirates Airline said: “The UAE government has been very supportive and is one of the leading countries in the use of technology and digital applications. 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 said: “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.”
Kleitham Ali Al Shamsi, Director of IT at the Dubai Health Authority highlighted that DHA’s strategic investment and focus on healthcare technology has significant benefits not only in the health sector but also in the travel sector: “This partnership reinforces that technology has the potential to securely, conveniently and effectively assist airlines to receive the verified COVID-19 test results and vaccination records. From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, DHA has worked tirelessly to connect all the laboratories that process COVID-19 test results in Dubai into DHA’s Outbreak Management system, this integration has been instrumental today to help develop such a unique integration with Emirates Airline.”
Emirates’ collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority is another way to provide customers with a streamlined experience and meet current travel requirements, making travel safe and convenient. Emirates is one of the airlines that has introduced best business practices and applications to reenergize and stimulate international travel. 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.
Customers 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 travellers to carry physical documents when travelling.