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Abu Dhabi Changes Its COVID-19 Testing Requirements

News Starting from September 5th, the Abu Dhabi emirate uses a new updated COVID-19 testing procedure. As the UAE welcomes tourists again, the country needs an updated policy regarding the early detection of the coronavirus infection. From now, both residents and tourists are allowed to visit Abu Dhabi if they have a negative PCR or DPI test made within 48 hours of the arrival.

As hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are ready to greet visitors again, it is crucial to establish a safe environment for both visitors and local communities. Before a PCR negative certificate was the only document that allowed tourists to enter the emirate. Now, a DPI test is also considered valid. If tourists plan to stay in the emirate for six consecutive days or longer, they are obliged to take a PCR test on the sixth day.

Just like before, children under 12 and people with chronic health conditions are not obliged to take the test. The new policy brings one more update – volunteers who have taken the COVID-19 vaccine are exempt from the requirement. Moreover, they are entitled to using emergency vehicle lanes.

If you plan to arrive in the emirate using Abu Dhabi International Airport, don’t forget a face-mask and hand gloves as wearing them is mandatory. All passengers need to follow social distancing. All inbound passengers need to take a mandatory COVID-19 PCR test right at the airport. UAE residents are not required to submit an application and receive a pre-approval. Foreigners arriving at Abu Dhabi Airport and planning to have a vacation in the emirate need to sign a copy of a Health Declaration. This document contains information about the self-quarantine protocol.

PCR and DPI tests have a different approach to detecting the infection. PCR is a swab test that detects the presence of an antigen. DPI tests are laser ones. They detect a signature of infection. It takes only several seconds to perform this test. DPI method is not only faster, it is cheaper and non-invasive. Health authorities can perform large-scale screening and test many people daily using the DPI method. At the moment DPI testing is still quite scarce. There are five testing locations in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and two testing locations in Dubai (in and Al Khawaneej and Mina Rashed). The Northern Emirates plan to open four locations in the nearest future.


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