Two major airlines have updated their pre-travel Covid-19 testing requirements for travelers from Dubai to India.

UAE’s budget carrier flydubai and India’s Air India Express announced the changes on Wednesday. The Indian budget carrier has said all passengers departing from Dubai must carry a Covid-19 negative PCR test result.

Flydubai announced that the pre-travel rapid IgG/ IgM testing is ‘not mandatory’ for travelers to any destination in India. The decision is effective immediately. A circular was issued in this regard to flydubai’s travel partners.

Following the Dubai Airports’ announcement to change the rapid testing venue from the airport’s departure terminal to the Shabab Al Ahli Football Club on Sunday, long queues had formed outside the club.

The free testing service was offered all passengers departing from the Dubai Airports and was predominantly used by passengers on repatriation flights to India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

In a statement to Khaleej Times, flydubai said: “Our advice to passengers traveling is that they need to be aware of and follow all regulations issued by the relevant authorities in the country they are departing from and arriving in.”

Meanwhile, Air India Express said on its blog: “All passengers traveling from Dubai will be required to take a Covid-19 PCR test no more than 96 hours before departure and present the test result certificate at check-in. Children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability are exempt from this test.

The airline has also said all Indian citizens returning to India are mandated to fill the Air Suvidha Self Reporting form available online, before reporting to the airport.

For passengers departing from Abu Dhabi and Sharjah on Air India Express flights, it has been made mandatory, effective August 21, that all passengers carry a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate.

PCR testing regulations

The RT-PCR negative test report that allows passengers to travel from the UAE to India to avoid paid quarantine is not mandatory but is highly recommended, according to an advisory issued by the Consulate-General of India in Dubai on August 11.

In an earlier interview with Khaleej Times, Dr. Aman Puri, the Consul-General of India to Dubai, told Khaleej Times: “Though it is not mandatory, we highly recommend a negative PCR- test before traveling to India.” He said the test would be in the best interest for those traveling as it safeguards the life of all passengers on the flight, and the lives of those in India.