DUE to an unexpected restriction imposed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government, only 68 out of 168 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who lined up at the Philippine Airlines (PAL) check-in counter at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminal 1 yesterday were able to leave for Dubai.
The UAE included the Philippines among the 12 "high risk" countries affected by COVID-19.
The restriction required PAL to allow only passengers with negative swab test results to board the plane.
Some 100 who were stranded at NAIA said they were not informed about the new requirements and werecasked to rebook and bring with them negative swab test results prior to their departure.
One of the 100 stranded, Salvador Dibar, 46 . a native of Leyte, who is an engineer working in Dubai Metro Rail, said that he learned of the new requirement only when he was asked by the airline staff for his swab test result.
The stranded 100 OFWs were asked to rebook on PAL's once a week flight to Dubai.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) requires passengers travelling from 12 countries that have been deemed by the UAE authorities as "high-risk" to take a COVID-19 test before being allowed on board flights to the Middle East destination. The invasive PCR nose and deep throat swab test must be taken within four days of travel at the passenger’s own expense. The rule applies to both passengers travelling to UAE, as well as passengers who are simply connecting through Dubai International Airport [DXB] to their final destination.
The 12 "high risk" countries where Emirates passengers must obtain a negative COVID-19 test certificate are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Sudan, Tanzania and the United States.
The requirement for passengers from the USA will only apply if you are flying from or started your journey in Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Orlando (MCO).