UAE-India travel guide: No PCR tests required; other Covid safety rules explained

With India resuming international flights from March 27, travel between the two countries is back to pre-pandemic levels.


Sahim Salim

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PTI file
PTI file

Published: Sun 27 Mar 2022, 12:35 PM

Last updated: Mon 4 Apr 2022, 3:38 PM

International flights to and from India have started operating at 100 per cent capacity from Sunday, March 27, after a gap of two years. Regular flights had been suspended as a Covid safety measure, with India operating some flights under air bubble agreements with multiple countries, including the UAE.

With travel restrictions eased, flights between the UAE and India are back to pre-pandemic levels.

Dubai-based Emirates, for instance, said it will re-introduce pre-pandemic flight frequencies to its destinations in India from April 1. The airline will be operating 170 weekly flights to nine cities in the country.

Here is a step-by-step guide to planning your travel from the UAE to India and return. These steps are based on the latest updates posted by Air India, Emirates and Etihad Airways on their websites as on March 27. They are subject to change based on regulatory announcements by authorities in the UAE and India.

>> Flying to India

- If you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and hold a vaccination certificate issued in India and UAE, you don’t need to take a PCR test. The vaccine doses must have been completed at least 15 days before departure.

- Children aged under 5 years are exempted from PCR tests.

- All relevant documents, including a self-declaration form, must be uploaded on the Air Suvidha portal.

- Only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board.

- Passengers are advised to download India’s Aarogya Setu app.

- Thermal screening will be carried out at Indian airports.

- On landing, some passengers will be selected for random PCR testing. They will be allowed to leave after sample collection.

- All travellers are required to self-monitor their health for 14 days after arrival.

>> Flying to the UAE

- All UAE residents can travel to Abu Dhabi and Dubai without GDRFA or ICA approvals.

- If you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, you don’t need a PCR test to travel to the UAE.

- You also don’t need to take a test if you hold a Covid-19 recovery certificate issued within 30 days of departure.

- Children aged below 16 flying to Abu Dhabi don’t need to take a test.

- Children aged below 12 flying to Dubai don’t need to take a test.

- All others must take a PCR test within 48 hours of travel.


- Passengers flying to Abu Dhabi need not take a test on arrival. They may undergo one for Dh40.

- If requested, passengers flying to Dubai must undergo a PCR test on arrival. Such passengers chosen at random need to self‑quarantine until they receive a negative result.

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