Vaccinated passengers could skip quarantine or PCRs tests soon, Emirates airline official says


People who have been inoculated against Covid-19 could benefit from less stringent requirements for travel in the coming months, a senior aviation official said.

While vaccination passports may not become mandatory to board a plane, those who are inoculated against the virus may be able to skip quarantine and isolation rules in different countries.

Adel Al Rehda, chief officer for Emirates airline, said by sharing digital medical records with airlines, passengers could return to a more seamless travel experience.

I think instead of [vaccination passports being] mandatory, there will be an easing of certain criteria for people who are vaccinated

Adel Al Rehda

“I can’t speak on any UAE ruling, but I think instead of [vaccination passports being] mandatory, there will be an easing of certain criteria for people who are vaccinated,” he said.

“There will be less obstacles for those passengers who have taken the vaccination against those who have not.

“I think many countries have already established if you have taken the second [shot of the] vaccine, you will be allowed to enter without having to quarantine or carry a PCR test.”

In the coming months, he said countries would likely start to provide privileges or “an easing of requirements” for those who have taken the Covid-19 vaccine.

Mr Al Rehda was talking to DubaiEye about the recent tie up between the Dubai Health Authority and Emirates, where it will create a digital version of a traveller’s Covid-19 medical records.

The records will provide passenger information on Covid-19 including testing history, infection history and eventually, vaccination records.

Once fully operational, Covid-19 health information for each passenger will be shared straight from attested DHA labs to Emirates’ reservations and booking system.

“We are trying to establish a link between the Emirates systems, whether it is at reservations or check-in, with the DHA systems,” he said.

“It will automatically provide any data related to Covid-19 testing, so the passenger will not have to carry any documentation.

“It will be more accurate and reliable.”

Beyond that, for phase two, he said the airline was trying to link it to other apps, such as the Iata pass.

If this is achieved, Covid-19 health information for each passenger will be available at the final destination for border control to check.

While this is currently a DHA tie up, Mr Al Redha said it could be extended to other emirates.

“The idea is to expand it to other emirates,” he said.

“DHA will be working with the Ministry of Health and Prevention to try and link the system to all labs in the UAE.”

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Updated: March 2, 2021 12:10 PM