Abu Dhabi has implemented a new system for UAE residents and visitors who wish to come to the emirate for business or leisure. As part of the country’s ongoing efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, Abu Dhabi authorities have decided to allow only those people into the city who have tested negative for COVID-19 about 48 hours prior to their visit. All vehicles entering Abu Dhabi will be stopped at police checkpoints to provide test results of the PCR nasal swab. This test can be taken at any facility recognised by the National Screening Centre and costs between AED 300-500, depending on which clinic or hospital you visit. Test results can be shared by the health facility via SMS or the Al Hosn app.
In a series of tweets, Abu Dhabi Media Office published some FAQs related to this decision. Those transporting mail and goods of any kind will be exempt from taking the test while the entry of non-Abu Dhabi based blue-collar workers is still prohibited. The other groups exempted from this rule are children under 12 years of age and those who have medical appointments related to cancer or kidney treatment. Meanwhile, representatives of ministries, local departments, diplomatic entities, companies, bureaus, etc. can apply for a one-day permit to visit the emirate between 6 am to 8 pm. Abu Dhabi residents travelling back from Dubai or other emirates will also need to get tested.
These entry restrictions will stay in place until further notice. Abu Dhabi officials have said that the emirate has reduced the number of patients needing hospital treatment and that many healthcare facilities are free of all COVID-19 cases. However, to achieve a further decline in infections, continued testing and movement restrictions are necessary. The emirate has already conducted hundreds of thousands of tests as part of the National Screening Programme.