UAE Hajj pilgrims to test and isolate on return amid Covid-19 precautions

Officials say seven-day home quarantine necessary

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Read the latest updates on the Hajj pilgrimage here

Emiratis embarking on Hajj must take a Covid-19 test on their return and should isolate for seven days.

At a televised briefing ahead of the Eid Al Adha break, UAE residents were urged to be vigilant amid a recent surge in cases.

Thousands of Emiratis - the government does not give an exact figure - will perform Hajj in the coming days.

On their return, they will be encouraged to take an optional test on arrival followed by a mandatory test on day four, said the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (Ncema).

They should quarantine for seven days at home.

This year, Hajj is restricted to only those who have not performed it before and those under the age of 65.

Pilgrims from the UAE are required to have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and had a booster. Citizens must submit a negative PCR test result before they fly to Saudi Arabia.

Dr Taher Al Ameri, spokesman for Ncema, urged all residents to be vigilant during the holidays.

“We urge the public to use electronic alternatives to distribute cash bonuses and gifts, and limit celebrations to immediate family members and relatives, as well as avoid physical greetings," he said.

Eid Al Adha will begin on Saturday, with public and private sector workers on holiday from Friday, July 8 until Monday, July 11.

Work will resume on Tuesday, July 12.

The UAE reported 1,764 new Covid-19 cases on Monday after an additional 225,157 tests were carried out.

The new cases bring the overall tally of infections to 952,960. Another 1,811 people beat the virus and total recoveries climbed to 933,257.

No coronavirus-related deaths were reported in the past 24 hours and the toll remained at 2,319.

At present, there are more than 17,000 active cases in the country that are officially recorded.

What do pilgrims wear on Hajj and what things to pack for the journey?

The Kiswah (covering of the Kaaba) is raised up by 3 meters every year to help prevent damage to the Kaaba ahead of the Hajj pilgrimage. Symbolising the beginning of the pilgrimage season, the official ceremony of raising the Kiswah, a huge piece of black silk embroidered with gold patterns, over the Kaaba began on Sunday evening as pilgrims have started gathering in Makkah before the pilgrimage. Photo: @ReasahAlharmain via Twitter
Updated: July 06, 2022, 11:21 AM