Abu Dhabi authorities have extended restrictions on movement in the emirate after the conclusion of the Eid break. The decision was taken to ensure smooth operation of the National Sterilisation Programme being conducted in the emirate between midnight and 5 am every day. In this regard, the authorities have reminded all residents to comply with COVID-19 related movement restrictions during the operations of the national sterilisation programme.
Abu Dhabi police have also called on the public to plan their travel journeys in accordance with the timings of movement restrictions. This will also include people planning to drive down to the capital city, Al Ain or Al Dhafra.
Abu Dhabi launched the sterilisation programme on July 19 with the aim of containing the spread of COVID-19 variants in the emirate. The initiative coincided with the start of the Eid Al Adha public holiday across the UAE to control the spread of COVID-19 during the festive break. Earlier, UAE officials pointed out that a rise in COVID-19 cases was observed in the country after the Eid Al Fitr period in May.
Protocols for entry in Abu Dhabi
Along with the movement restrictions, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee for the COVID-19 pandemic has also made it compulsory for travellers to present negative COVID-19 test results in order to enter the emirate. The new rules apply to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers.
While earlier it was not mandatory for vaccinated travellers to present PCR test results for entry to Abu Dhabi, the new protocols have mandated every person aged 12 years or above to present negative PCR or DPI test results to enter the emirate.
As per the protocols, PCR test results and DPI results must have validity for 48 hours and 24 hours respectively. In case of a negative PCR test result, mandatory follow-up PCR testing is required on Day 4 and Day 8 of stay in Abu Dhabi, while for DPI tests, follow-up PCR testing is required on Day 3 and Day 7. In both cases, Day 1 will begin on the day of entry in Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, DPI tests cannot be used for consecutive entries.
Restriction on capacity in public places
In order to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Abu Dhabi authorities have implemented capacity restrictions across a number of public facilities. According to protocols, public beaches, private beaches, swimming pools, public parks, restaurants, cafés, gyms, spas, buses, and public ferries have a maximum capacity of only 50 percent of their total capacity. Shopping malls are allowed to operate at a capacity of only 40 percent, while cinemas can accommodate only 30 percent of their total capacity. Moreover, public taxis are allowed to accommodate up to three passengers in five-seater vehicles and four passengers in seven-seater vehicles.
Abu Dhabi residents and visitors are being screened for COVID-19 during their entry at malls and amusement parks. People aged 12 and above are required to test negative on EDE scanners to gain entry to these public places.
Extension of home quarantine duration
Abu Dhabi has increased the duration for four of the six groups of people eligible for home quarantine. In case, vaccinated residents have come in contact with a COVID-19 patient and those who have returned from a destination country, not on the Green List, are required to quarantine for seven days now, increased from five days. In addition, a follow-up PCR test is required on Day 6 of quarantine.
Residents who are yet not fully vaccinated are required to quarantine for 12 days in case they come in contact with a COVID-19 patient or have returned from a country not on the Green List. They are required to undergo a follow-up PCR test on Day 11 of quarantine.