Abu Dhabi to restrict access to many public places for unvaccinated people

Everyone must show proof of vaccination to enter malls, gyms, restaurants and nurseries, among other venues, from August 20

Only vaccinated people will be allowed to enter some public places in Abu Dhabi from August 20.

This includes shopping centres, restaurants, cafes and all other retail outlets, including those not within a shopping centre, "except supermarkets and pharmacies", the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee said on Monday.

Also included are gyms, recreational facilities and sporting activities, health clubs, resorts, museums, cultural centres and theme parks, as well as universities, institutes, public and private schools and nurseries in the emirate.

The decision does not apply to those with a vaccination exemption registered on the Al Hosn app, nor to children aged 15 and under.

More than 93 per cent of the "target groups" have been vaccinated in Abu Dhabi, authorities said.

They said the latest move was designed to safeguard public health and curb the spread of Covid-19.

Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi introduced a green pass system through the Al Hosn app to enter most public places.

It requires people to show their testing and vaccination status on the test-and-trace app to enter parks, beaches, malls, hotels and large supermarkets.
The app is also required to access gyms, swimming pools, entertainment centres, restaurants and cafes.

It was temporarily suspended on June 18 as authorities worked on a technical issue.

Authorities have not said when the green pass system will resume. But during a special Covid-19 briefing on Sunday they said the Al Hosn app was working as normal.

“It is currently working efficiently and effectively as usual and all users can get the results of the PCR nasal swab, DPI laser blood test and vaccination status through the application,” the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said.

The same briefing heard that the highly contagious Delta variant accounted for a third of cases in the UAE.

It also heard that infections had risen because some people had not been vaccinated or were not following rules.

Officials urged everyone to take the vaccine and continue to wear masks and adhere to social-distancing guidelines.

Mass testing and one of the world's fastest vaccination drives have been central to the UAE's efforts to curb the pandemic.

The country recorded little more than 2,000 cases on Monday, down from close to 4,000 in January.

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