The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) vaccination distribution rate has been one of the highest around the world. Having already administered the jab to most of its population, the gulf country has at last loosened travel restrictions for those who have been vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus infection. A leading official at the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) said, “We would like to announce the review and update of the National Travel Protocol to include easing of procedures for vaccinated with regard to isolation and quarantine, according to the destinations concerned,” said Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesperson of the NCEMA.
He added, “Taking vaccine and abiding by precautionary measures are the only ways to return to normality. 69.89 per cent of people aged above 16, which is the category eligible for the vaccine, have been vaccinated, while 77.84 of people over 60 years have been vaccinated.” Dhaheri then lauded UAE’s method of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, “thanks to the country’s pre-emptive vision, success of frontline heroes and the efforts of health institutions”.
At the same time, Dhaheri urged everyone to avoid family gatherings during Eid Al Fitr holidays and to convey their greetings over social media platforms. Dhaheri also noted that people should avoid exchanging presents and food items. The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee also recently updated the travel procedures for vaccinated passengers. Effective Monday, May 3, 2021, vaccinated travellers arriving from ‘green’ countries were to take a PCR test on arrival and on day six, without the need to quarantine. Vaccinated travellers arriving from other countries are required take a PCR test on arrival, quarantine for five days and take another PCR test on day four.