Covid-19: Emirates closes onboard lounges, social areas for passengers

An average of over two million new daily cases have been reported in the past seven days



by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Sun 9 Jan 2022, 11:01 AM

Last updated: Mon 10 Jan 2022, 12:08 AM

Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates airline has closed its onboard lounges and social areas for passengers on board its A380 aircraft for the safety of the travellers due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

An average of over two million new daily cases have been reported in the past seven days while new global cases have increased by 270 per cent since the Omicron variant was discovered in South Africa in late November.

“In light of health and safety considerations, Emirates has temporarily modified some aspects of our onboard service. Our onboard lounge and the social area will not be available to customers at this time,” an Emirates spokesperson said in a statement to Khaleej Times.

In October 2020, Emirates rolled out a redesigned experience onboard A380 with the introduction of additional health and safety measures. The airline had also enhanced its offering, introducing a nutrient-rich welcome drink for the winter season.

The carrier, which has resumed operations over 90 per cent of its pre-pandemic network and flies to more than 120 destinations worldwide via its hub in Dubai, earlier announced in December that its members will have access to more than 120 lounges by February 2022.

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By late December, Emirates lounges at a host of airports in the UK, including London Heathrow, Birmingham, and Manchester were re-opened for customers while the lounges in London Gatwick and Glasgow will receive customers in January 2022.

In Europe, Emirates lounges in Germany, namely Munich, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf, in addition to lounges in Milan and Rome, have already re-opened for passengers while the lounges in Hamburg and Paris were opened last month.

In addition, Covid-19 safety rules have been stepped at Dubai International (DXB) with the introduction of random PCR tests being carried out on passengers arriving on some flights.

In December, random PCR tests were conducted on passengers arriving from the UK. While PCR test validity on passengers coming from certain countries has also been reduced to 48 hours including the UK, India, Pakistan Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Sudan and Zambia.

“Emirates apologises for any inconvenience caused. The safety of our customers and crew is of the utmost importance and will not be compromised,” the airline spokesperson said in the statement after the closure of the lounge and social area onboard aircraft.


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