A travel guide to the destinations on Abu Dhabi's 'green' list: the rules and what you need to know

Travellers no longer need to quarantine when returning from these countries and territories, but here are the rules when arriving at the other end

Abu Dhabi began welcoming back international visitors from Thursday, December 24, 2020.

The Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee announced that travellers arriving from “green” countries and territories do not need to quarantine upon arrival in Abu Dhabi. Instead, they must take a PCR test when they land and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Follow-up PCR tests are then required on the sixth and twelfth days after arriving in Abu Dhabi.

While this opens up opportunities to travel to these destinations, since there is no longer a need to quarantine when returning home, many of the destinations on the list still have stringent travel restrictions in place. Here’s a guide:

Australia

Only Australian citizens and returning permanent residents and their immediate family members can travel to Australia without an exemption until further notice.

Bhutan

For travellers to Bhutan, visa on arrival is currently suspended, and those who have a visa or residence permit must quarantine for 21 days. They must also present a negative Covid PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure.

Brunei

At present, foreign nationals are only being allowed into Brunei for essential business travel or other exceptional reasons, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All visitors arriving in Brunei require approval from the government and must undergo a self-isolation period of between two and 14 days. Proof of a valid hotel booking for at least six days starting from the date of arrival is also required. There are currently no direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Brunei.

China

While China is slowly opening up to tourism and Etihad is operating direct flights to Shanghai and Beijing, the country still has a mandatory 14-day quarantine in place for all foreign nationals entering the country. This can be completed at a government-selected facility or a hotel, at the traveller’s own expense. A negative PCR test is required on arrival and health screening procedures are in place at airports.

Domestic travel is allowed, although visitors have to wear masks, download health-tracking apps on their phones and provide personal contact information to move about in the country, visit tourist sites or use public transport. Certain cities and provinces within China may also require additional quarantine periods for domestic travellers.

Greenland

Travellers cannot visit Greenland until at least February 28, 2021. All travel has been suspended except for critical workers due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hong Kong

Non-Hong Kong residents are currently being denied entry into the country.

Iceland

Currently, those travelling to Iceland will need to undergo two Covid tests with a quarantine between them. The first test is taken upon arrival, with the second due five days later. The quarantine is lifted when a negative result is obtained from the second test.

Those who can present a valid international vaccination certificate for full vaccination with an approved vaccine against Covid-19, are exempt. However, there is no specification on where to obtain one. All arriving travellers need to pre-register at covid.is.

Mauritius

Mauritian nationals, residents and tourists travelling for long stays are allowed entry into the island nation, but visitors must complete a 14-day mandatory in-room quarantine at a hotel of their choice.

All visitors are required to take a PCR test up to seven days before departure, and they must have confirmed accommodation for the duration of their stay, as well as completed passenger health declaration and locator forms.

Arriving passengers will have to undergo a PCR test at the airport on the day of arrival and then again after seven and 14 days. If they test positive for Covid‑19, they will be transferred to a public medical institution for treatment.

Mongolia

Mongolia has imposed an almost-total ban on the entry of foreigners and has limited incoming air traffic to government-controlled charter flights.

New Zealand

The New Zealand border is currently closed to almost all travellers, to help stop the spread of Covid-19. The only people allowed to enter the country are New Zealand citizens and permanent resident visa holders; the partner or dependent child of a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident; a diplomat who holds a post in New Zealand; and Australian citizens or permanent residents ordinarily resident in New Zealand.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has suspended all international flights indefinitely to help combat the spread of Covid-19, and Etihad has stopped all passenger services between Abu Dhabi and Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh until further notice. The status of this suspension is under regular review by Saudi Arabia's ministry of interior. In exceptional circumstances, arrangements are being made for citizens and residents to return to Saudi Arabia during this period, with a 14-day quarantine on arrival.

Singapore

Etihad is currently flying to Singapore, but all passengers, except citizens and permanent residents, must apply for entry approval from relevant government agencies. All inbound travellers will be required to take a PCR test up to 72 hours before departure and will need to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Schoolchildren ride bicycles past a replica of the Phra Kaew Pavilion in the Ancient City Heritage Park in Samut Prakan, some 25km south of Bangkok on December 9, 2020. / AFP / Mladen ANTONOV