UAE: Etihad Announces Mandatory Flu Vaccine for Passengers Traveling to Jeddah

Asma Ahmed - | UAE

Etihad Airways has announced a new requirement for all passengers traveling from Abu Dhabi to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Effective March 26 and until further notice, individuals must possess an influenza vaccination certificate as mandated by the health authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This measure aligns with the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention's (MoHAP) directive, which makes influenza vaccination compulsory for pilgrims journeying to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Umrah.

The airline emphasized that passengers must present their influenza vaccination certificate during check-in for inspection before boarding. The certificate can be provided either in hard copy or digitally through approved UAE health applications. Notably, the regulation exempts certain individuals, including transit passengers whose journey originates outside the UAE, residents of Saudi Arabia with valid residency proof, and travelers entering the UAE from Jeddah.

Amidst these increased travel regulations, Etihad Airways reaffirmed its dedication to putting the safety and security of its personnel and customers first. According to MoHAP, those who have gotten the flu shot in the last year don't need to get another shot. At travel checks, you may get valid immunization cards using the Al Hosn app.

Additionally, Air Arabia has recommended flu vaccination for passengers traveling from the UAE to Saudi Arabia for Umrah, as indicated in a communication to travel agents. Similar advisories have been received from other airlines, like Saudia.

The announcement has left some passengers uncertain about their travel plans. For instance, Dubai resident Shaziya, planning to embark on an Umrah trip next week, expressed confusion regarding the new rule's impact, especially considering the 10-day advance vaccination requirement. Travel agents have also raised concerns about the implementation of the mandate for visitors entering Saudi Arabia on multiple-entry tourist visas, given the lack of clarity surrounding its enforcement. As the situation evolves, passengers and stakeholders await further updates from relevant authorities and airlines.

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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
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