As the entire world watches the current Coronavirus outbreak – sometimes in a state of mass chaos – airports are pretty much the worst places to be right after Wuhan itself. With cities on lockdown and thousands – in northern Italy, even millions – of people quarantined around the world, you can never be too safe. This is why Dubai International Airport is going the extra mile to make sure all passengers coming into the city are healthy and not carrying the virus. Being a major stop-off destination for connecting flights along travelers’ routes as the transit site for Emirates Airlines is one of the main reasons why DXB is the third busiest airport in the world, with thousands of travelers either stopping by on their way to another destination or heading into Dubai itself. But that comes with a price.
In the wake of COVID-19, the Dubai Health Authorities announced its new strict process for conducting regular screenings of all passengers coming through the airport’s terminals, and the process will be as discreet as possible. But, ideally, they advise travelers to take an extra two to three hours into consideration when it comes to time spent at the airport.
Their priority is to not inconvenience the passengers. They have non-contact thermal cameras that are placed in strategic locations for passengers coming in, including tourists, residents, and transit passengers — all within the window of 45 minutes. A nasal swab is done in case the cameras detect a temperature, along with a health questionnaire. Passengers coming in from high-risk countries as per the WHO listings are urged to set aside two to three hours for health screenings at all ports of entry, not just the airport. Security measures have been taken up a notch at all airports and seaports in Dubai, with enhanced health checks specifically for travelers returning or arriving from high-risk countries. In extreme cases, depending on travel history and test results, some passengers may be placed in a 14-day quarantine at home. But all efforts are just to make sure that everyone entering the emirate is virus-free.