Eid holiday: take a Covid test if you travel abroad, UAE health official advises

Dr Shereena Al Mazrouei says although tests after travelling are not mandatory, staying vigilant is crucial

Malls in Dubai are expected to be busy for Eid Al Fitr. Pawan Singh / The National
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A senior Abu Dhabi health official is urging UAE residents travelling for the Eid Al Fitr break to take a Covid-19 test after arriving back in the country.

Dr Shereena Al Mazrouei, department manager of health promotion at Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, told The National that although it was not mandatory, this was good practice particularly if people lived with an elderly or high-risk family member.

Residents are getting ready to enjoy the first Eid break without major coronavirus restrictions since 2019, but Dr Al Mazrouei said the virus was still around and major gatherings still represented a challenge.

"We know this is a long Eid break," Dr Al Mazrouei said. "People may travel, go to the mall or go to an event – especially those who have been isolated for so long. But we should not disregard the ability of people who are coming from abroad or an event to bring the infection.

"We would recommend that people traveling do a PCR and at least keep a physical distance of one meter from others for a few days.”

Eid preparations around the world

Dr Al Mazrouei also recommended limiting social gatherings to family members and urged people to wear a mask and keep a distance of at least a metre while around elderly and high-risk family members.

Case numbers have been declining in the UAE and authorities have lifted many Covid-19 rules. Abu Dhabi on Thursday lifted all capacity limits at malls and events and extended the validity of a PCR test on the Al Hosn smartphone app to 30 days. But it is still mandatory to wear a mask indoors across the UAE.

“The number of cases is ... at a low level and we're hoping for this number to keep on decreasing and that the infection rate becomes less,” she said.

Public sector workers will have a full week's holiday to celebrate Eid Al Fitr.

Private sector employees will enjoy a holiday from Ramadan 29 – Saturday, April 30 – until Shawwal 3, either Tuesday, May 3, or Wednesday, May 4, depending on the sighting of the Moon.

Updated: April 30, 2022, 12:09 PM