Air India Express has requested its passengers travelling to the UAE from India to be at the airport six hours before the departure time of flights for a mandatory Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for coronavirus before flying.
"As per the entry requirement of the UAE, a rapid PCR test will be conducted for every passenger at the respective Indian departure airport,” the carrier said issued on August 23.As per the airline, the test counters will start four hours before the departure time of flights. They would close two hours ahead of the departure, it said.
— Air India Express (@FlyWithIX) August 23, 2021
UAE has relaxed norms for Indian visitors. Indian passport holders, who have not been to the emirate in the last 14 days, can get tourist visas to the UAE, news agency PTI reported. The facility has been extended to Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Uganda, other than India, the news agency cited a Gulf News report as saying.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Earlier, only UAE citizens and transit passengers were allowed to fly to the country following COVID restrictions.
Approval of tourist visas for Indian passport holders, who have not been in the country in the last fortnight, comes as the UAE is slowly opening up its arrivals.
All flyers will have to undergo a Polymerase Chain Reaction test on the day of arrival and on the ninth day after arrival in the UAE.
The UAE has said it will accept passengers from Pakistani airports Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. Earlier, arrivals from Pakistan were only allowed to transit passengers.Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.