Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 2 July 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: entry to Abu Dhabi permitted with negative Covid-19 test

Permits are no longer required but proof of being free of the coronavirus is needed

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Residents will be allowed to enter Abu Dhabi if they can provide proof that they are free of Covid-19, authorities said on Monday.

This means presenting a negative coronavirus test taken within the previous 48 hours.

Abu Dhabi's Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Committee said results could be shown to police at the border using the AlHosn tracing app or by presenting a text message from a recognised hospital.

The public must continue to adhere to all precautionary measures, including wearing masks and ensuring there were no more than the permitted number of people within vehicles.

Employees who are not based in Abu Dhabi are still not allowed to enter.

The announcement is the latest update on a movement ban that has been in place since June 2.

Initially, authorities said they would impose a travel ban on entering and leaving the emirate to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Residents were at first only allowed to travel within Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain or Al Dhafra, but not between them.

Last week, officials said it was still possible for people living in Abu Dhabi to leave the emirate, but they would need a permit to return.

The movement of goods between the capital and Dubai has continued as normal throughout the ban.

Initial restrictions introduced this month also required Abu Dhabi residents to obtain a permit to leave the emirate, but that decision was rescinded.

The movement ban was put in place to help the emirate's mass testing programme, part of its early-detection strategy.

Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, acting undersecretary for Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health, previously told The National that the ban was necessary so medics could test residents who live in densely populated areas and to stop people from moving around and potentially spreading the virus.

He said the aim was to eliminate the coronavirus from the emirate completely, even if that required testing everyone in Abu Dhabi.

“We will take all the necessary actions to eradicate the virus and ensure that the Emirate is free of Covid-19,” he said.

Medics are now working their way through densely populated areas of the emirate to offer free testing so they can identify, isolate and treat positive cases.

“People who live in high-density areas can expect a visit from the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre and/or Seha teams to run their tests within the safety of their homes,” Dr Al Kaabi said.

On Monday, authorities said they had completed screenings in Al Dhafrah's industrial areas and "fully contained the spread of Covid-19" in residential areas.

More than 66,000 residents were tested without charge, under the 10-day sanitation and screening programme.

More than 300,000 face masks were distributed and 853,000 free meals handed out.

Some 700 buildings were screened with transport organised for residents to be taken to and from screening centres.

Updated: June 30, 2020 04:51 PM

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