As borders reopen and travel restrictions ease gradually, a convenient and reliable pre-departure COVID-19 testing solution may become a catalyst in the recovery process of international travel by providing an assurance to destination countries, airlines and travellers and by becoming a major risk-mitigator. Some countries have already made this a mandatory requirement, while many others are seriously considering implementing the same for all incoming travellers to ease the pressure of on-arrival testing. To meet the rising demand, VFS Global, the world's largest visa outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, has announced the launch of a COVID-19 Diagnostic PCR and Antibody testing service starting from 03 August 2020 in the UAE. The service is offered in partnership with UAE Ministry of Health approved and certified testing laboratories.
While VFS Global provides a seamless online appointment booking system, tests are conducted by trained medical professionals from approved and certified testing laboratories. The test reports are directly sent by the partnered laboratory to the registered email address of the individual within 24 hours, ensuring confidentiality.
Customers can have their test sample collected either at the partnered certified laboratory in Ajman, Dubai, or Sharjah, or at a location of choice within the UAE using the ‘At Your Doorstep’ service. An exclusive fast track service and a dedicated help desk is provided for VFS Global customers to reduce the waiting time.
Speaking on the launch of the service, Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO – South Asia, Middle East & North Africa, Americas, said, “We believe a convenient and reliable pre-departure COVID-19 testing solution can become a catalyst in the recovery process of international travel by providing an assurance to destination countries, airlines and travellers and by becoming a major risk-mitigator. Countries might even consider making this mandatory for all incoming travellers to ease the pressure of testing upon arrival.”
The COVID-19 Diagnostic PCR and Antibody testing service is open for all and is not limited to travellers. The service can be availed by anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms such as dry cough, difficulty in breathing, and high fever, or by even those who do not have any symptom but would like to get themselves tested.
Steps to apply for the COVID-19 Diagnostic PCR and/or Antibody testing service:
1. Schedule an appointment online or by speaking to a call centre agent at +971 42055906
2. Provide Emirates ID and personal information before making payment using Debit or Credit card
3. Proceed to take the test as per the appointment date, time, and location
4. Receive the test result within 24 hours on the registered email address
VFS Global is also working on offering a convenient, reliable, and secure COVID-19 testing service globally in partnership with reputed medical service providers authorised to carry out tests. Following the launch in UAE, we are now focusing on rolling-out the service in China, Egypt, India and Saudi Arabia in a phased manner.
A negative COVID-19 test result does not guarantee a positive visa decision. Visa decision-making remains the exclusive prerogative of the concerned government and VFS Global plays no role in the decision-making process. Customers are advised to check for latest travel advisories from local and intended destination’s healthcare authority regarding any international travel.