Dubai shuts Smart Gates operation as precaution against COVID-19

The Smart Gates system at the Dubai international airport and Dubai World Central will not be available from March 8 until further notice, according to Airport Authorities. 

These Smart Gates, which have been used by more than 10.7 million people, will not be in operation for departing passengers as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus as per the directives from the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCCA) and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). 

Smart Gates at Dubai Airport: Photo Courtesy: Dubai Airport Authority Twitter
Smart Gates at Dubai Airport: Photo Courtesy: Dubai Airport Authority Twitter

As per GCCA and DHA, flights to and from high coronavirus risk countries have been suspen​ded and stringent checks and screenings are being conducted on all other passengers. 

Every traveller goes through unobtrusive thermal screening at the Dubai airports. Dedicated medical teams across the airport can screen passengers and crew of a flight within 40 minutes, said Airport authorities.

For travellers and crew who are arriving from countries of concern and COVID-19 hotspots, health authorities conduct medical checks that include enhanced temperature checks and nose swabs.

Passengers or crew when detected as COVID-19 positive, go through additional tests, after which treatment is initiated for the patients.

Apart from the above screenings, the following changes are currently in place as per GCCA guidelines:

  • Flights arriving from Thailand, Lebanon, Syria, Italy and China – Thermal screening being carried out by Dubai Health Authority.
  • Flights to and from Bahrain, Iran and China – Suspended.
  • Flights between UAE and Saudi Arabia – Restricted to Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam airports.
  • Flight to Kuwait via Dubai (With Residents of or have visited Bangladesh, Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Egypt and Syria) – Will not be permitted entry to Kuwait. 

The airport operators advised passengers to check the status of their flights before going to the airport.