UAE explained: Abu Dhabi's three new measures to combat Covid-19

Changes include new rules at the border, overnight sterilisation campaign and a reduction in capacity limits in many public venues

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Abu Dhabi has announced a string of new restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The changes include revised rules for entering the emirate at the Dubai border, reductions in capacity limits in many public venues and the return of the nightly sanitisation drive.

Announced late on Thursday, the new rules will come into effect on July 19, the first day of the national holiday to mark Eid Al Adha.

So, what has changed?

The National explains.

Border entry requirements

From Monday, anyone entering the emirate must either present a negative PCR test result received within 48 hours, or a negative result received from a DPI test no more than 24 hours earlier.

Anyone entering with a PCR test must take further PCR tests on day four and day eight if they are still in the emirate.

Those using a DPI result to enter must take a PCR test on day three if they are staying 48 hours or more, and another PCR test on day seven if they are still in Abu Dhabi.

If using a DPI test to enter, the person must use a PCR the next time, because DPI results cannot be used for entry on consecutive occasions, authorities said.

The rules apply to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

The border entry rules as they stand now are different for people who are fully vaccinated.

Anyone who has received a second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine more than 28 days ago automatically receives the E status on their Al Hosn app, allowing them to enter Abu Dhabi.

It can be maintained by taking a PCR test every seven days, meaning people who are vaccinated can enter as of now with a test result received up to six days ago. They are also currently exempt from the follow-up PCR tests. As of Monday these exemptions will no longer apply.

Capacity limits

Operating limits for public places will be reduced in Abu Dhabi, starting on Monday.

Public beaches, public parks, private beaches and swimming pools, restaurants and cafes, gyms and spas, buses and public ferries will be allowed to admit no more than 50 per cent of their total capacity.

Shopping malls will be limited to 40 per cent of capacity, while cinemas will operate at 30 per cent capacity.

No more than three passengers will be able to travel in a five-passenger taxi and four passengers in a seven-passenger taxi, the authority said.

The sanitisation drive

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 27, 2020.   
  Sanitation workers from Tadweer spraying the pedestrian crossing on Hamdan and Fatima Bint Mubarak Street.  Emiratis and residents across the UAE must stay home this weekend while a nationwide cleaning and sterilisation drive is carried out.
Victor Besa / The National
Section:  NA
Reporter:  Haneen Dajani

The overnight sanitising programme will return from Monday.

Everyone will be required to stay home from midnight until 5am, unless they have obtained permission to leave their homes from police by visiting

Authorities said members of the public can go out during the disinfection drive only to "get essential supplies, such as food and medicine".

"The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has launched the National Sterilisation Programme in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, starting from Monday, July 19, as part of efforts to protect public health and prevent the spread of Covid-19," Abu Dhabi Media Office said.

The media office said the sanitisation process "will take place daily between midnight and 5am. During these hours, the movement of traffic and the public will be restricted and there will be no transport services".

"The public must stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out, or to get essential supplies, such as food and medicine."

The programme was first launched in March 2020 and ran for three months.

The hours varied from 8pm to 6am, to 10pm to 6am.

The drive is carried out by Tadweer, the emirate's waste management company.

Updated: July 16, 2021, 8:57 AM