UAE bans overseas travel for unvaccinated citizens

Safety measure will come into effect on January 10

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The UAE will ban unvaccinated citizens from travelling abroad from January 10, authorities announced on Saturday.

Emiratis who are fully vaccinated will also be required to take a booster shot if eligible should they wish to travel.

People are able to take a third booster shot six months after receiving their second dose of a vaccine.

The new protocols were issued by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.

Those who are medically exempt from receiving the Covid-19 vaccine will not be subject to the ruling.

The exemption will also cover "humanitarian cases and individuals travelling for medical and treatment purposes".

In November, Dr Farida Al Hosani, a government health spokeswoman, cautioned the public against travelling abroad.

She said travel was allowed but not advised, given the high rates of infections overseas.

The UAE has overseen one of the world's most robust vaccination campaigns.

More than 22.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered to dateand more than 92 per cent of the population are fully vaccinated.

The UAE has taken strong steps to limit the spread of Covid-19 in recent weeks amid a sharp rise in infections.

Members of the public are urged to stay committed to safety protocols and to receive the booster dose to aid the country's recovery from the pandemic.

Abu Dhabi reinstated border testing rules on Thursday in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Vaccinated people entering Abu Dhabi must show Al Hosn green pass, while those who have not been vaccinated must present a negative PCR test result received within 96 hours.

The rules run in conjunction with EDE scanner checks at the border checkpoint in Ghantoot.

The devices were introduced on December 19 to help identify cases of Covid-19. Officers at the checkpoint on the E11 use a mobile phone application to detect signs of fever.

Authorities have called for all federal government employees to receive the booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine within the next month.

The directive was issued on Saturday in a circular from the Federal Authority for Government Resources.

Unvaccinated federal government employees will not be allowed to enter workplaces from Monday, in line with Green Pass protocols.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, on Wednesday urged the public to follow rules but also said that the latest wave was the "weakest and least fatal".

"I want to warn and reassure – warn that cases are increasing and reassure you that according to people more experienced than us, that it has begun to weaken and, God willing, we will be able to control it with your efforts and those of your brothers in the country and by taking precautions," Sheikh Mohamed said.

Updated: January 02, 2022, 5:23 AM