Amid rising concerns over the Omicron COVID-19 variant, it has become important to be aware of the changing travel protocols and Coronavirus safety measures to enhance their health and wellbeing. Residents are also seeking to their home countries for the holiday season, therefore it is significantly necessary for them to be aware of these rules.
In case of a positive COVID-19 test or a close contact of infected person, community members are required to follow rules set out by authorities to contain the spread of the virus.
Here are the protocols in Abu Dhabi and Dubai:
What happens if you test positive in Dubai
In case of a positive test result, the individual must isolate for 10 days, even if they don't have symptoms. The DHA has noted that the first thing to do is to download the COVID-19 DXB app. Failure in doing so will result in penalty of Dh10,000 fine.
Once the app is downloaded, it is important for the individual to "immediately" isolate in a separate room from family members. They must also inform their employer in case of a close contact.
For close contacts before they receive their results, they are also required to isolate in separate rooms.
The 10-day home isolation period is mandatory, with the first day starting from the day the PCR test was conducted.
People can stay at home if they are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. Other family members are required to strictly follow the protocols, particularly for high-risk groups.
DHA added that disposable cutlery and plates must be used which should be thrown away after use. There is no need for another PCR test once the 10 days are complete.
If there are any symptoms, the person must call DHA on 800 342 to book a virtual consultation or an appointment at a Covid-19 assessment centre.
Once the isolation period is completed, a clearance certificate will be sent to the individual via SMS. They can get one through the COVID-19 DXB app or by calling 800 342 as well.
Those who are unable to isolate at home can opt for "institutional quarantine" at their own expense.
For close contacts in Dubai
A DHA statement noted that close contacts are those who have been less than 1m apart from the COVID-19 infected patient for at least 15 minutes, even if they were wearing a mask. They are also called close contact when they have been in direct contact with the positive person in the two days or during the 10 days of their illness. It can end of day seven without testing if no symptoms develop. If there are symptoms, the person is required to quarantine for 10 days.
For people testing positive in Abu Dhabi
If there is a positive PCR test result, a text message will be sent from SEHA to the patient. The message will ask the patient to report to Mafraq Hospital's Prime Assessment Centre, near Baniyas, on the outskirts of the capital for further treatment.
On arrival, patients will be registered to Salamtak, an online health portal, and undergo a thorough medical check-up. Additional tests will be conducted for high-risk patients, such as the elderly, anyone with a chronic disease or people with severe symptoms. These tests will include heart monitoring, blood tests, and X-ray, and CT scan which will be followed by a doctor's consultation.
Those with mild or no symptoms will be issued an electronic tracker watch. They are required to quarantine for 10 days either at home or in a facility during the period they will be wearing the watch. In Abu Dhabi, COVID-19 positive patients can also consult with doctors at the Prime Assessment Centre in Al Mushrif at Al Mushrif Wedding Hall.
Those in high-risk groups in Al Ain can visit the assessment centre in the Red Hall at Al Khabaisi daily from 8 am to 10 pm. They can also visit screening centres at Asharej, Al Sarouj and Al Hili from Saturday to Thursday, 8 am to 7.30 pm and Friday from 10 am to 7.30 pm.
Rules for close contacts in Abu Dhabi
Vaccinated people coming in close contact with a positive case are required to quarantine for seven days and take a PCR test. Additional PCR test will be conducted on day six. For unvaccinated, you must quarantine for 10 days and take the PCR test. Another PCR Test will be conducted on day nine.
People in close contact and enrolled in the self-quarantine programme can also visit the COVID-19 assessment centre in the Yellow Hall at Zayed Port, Al Mina. Failing to follow rules and non-compliance with safety protocols, will result in a Dh50,000 fine.