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Emirates will be implementing thermal screening measures for all passengers travelling on US flights departing from Dubai International Airport, effective tonight, 12 March 2020. Thermal scanners will be placed at departure gates for all US gateways, starting with EK 231 to Washington Dulles International Airport. If a passenger is found to have a higher than normal temperature, they will undergo further testing. This is in addition to the thermal screenings done for all passengers on arrival as they pass through customs.
In addition, Emirates has suspended its flights between Dubai and Italy starting from today, with the final flight operating on March 15. The airline is working with the relevant authorities to monitor the developments closely as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
The measures are being taken as part of the airline’s overall response to the latest developments around the COVID-19 pandemic. Emirates has been coordinating efforts in conjunction with local health and regulatory authorities, including the Dubai Health Authority, so that the airline meets or exceeds local and international guidelines and directives around COVID-19. Emirates plans to gradually roll out thermal screening procedures for all of its flights departing Dubai to ensure the health and safety of its customers travelling abroad.
Passengers are advised to observe the general recommended time of arrival at the airport, which is 3 hours ahead of departure, to ensure seamless check-in procedures and to complete their immigration formalities.
In addition to thermal screening procedures at the airport, Emirates has also implemented proactive and voluntary measures to ensure a safe flying experience with enhanced cleaning and complete disinfection protocols in over 248 aircraft departing Dubai each day. The airline utilises high-grade cleaning chemicals proven to kill viruses and germs, leaving a long-lasting protective coating against viruses, bacteria and fungi on surfaces. The comprehensive cleaning process includes a thorough wiping down all cabin surfaces, in addition to other normal procedures such as changing head rest covers on all seats, replacement of reading materials, vacuuming, amongst other cleaning activities.
On any aircraft found to have transported a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case, Emirates implements further deep cleaning including the defogging of cabin interiors and misting with disinfectant across all soft furnishings, and replacement of seat covers and cushions in the affected area. The aircraft’s state-of-the-art air circulation system, utilising HEPA cabin air filters, will also be replaced.
The airline has also offering passengers additional peace of mind with the ability to change their travel dates without change and reissuance fees on any bookings made prior to March 31, 2020. Cancellation and refund fees will also be waived for bookings made between March 7 and March 31, 2020, regardless of travel date.