Covid-19 isolation rules for Dubai and Abu Dhabi: what happens if I test positive now?

What happens if you test positive or you are a close contact

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With Covid-19 cases surging in the Emirates, knowing the rules and what happens if you get coronavirus is all the more important.

If you happen to test positive, or you are a close contact of someone who does, there are a number of things you must do, according to rules set out by authorities to limit the spread of the virus.

The National explains the procedures in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

What happens if you test positive in Dubai

Anyone with a positive PCR test for Covid-19 is a confirmed case. That means you have to isolate for 10 days, even if you don't have symptoms.

According to DHA, the first thing you should do is download the Covid-19 DXB app. If you don't, you will be liable for a Dh10,000 fine.

After that, you should "immediately" isolate in a separate room from family members. You must also inform your employer.

If you have had any contact with your family members before you received your results, they must also isolate. If you didn't, then they are free to go about their normal lives.

But you must stay completely separate from them in a different room.

The 10-day home isolation period is mandatory. The first day is the day you took the PCR test.

You can stay at home if you are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. But you must have a separate or private bathroom and a thermometer.

In addition, none of the household members should be high-risk and everyone must follow the rules, which means staying in a different room from you.

DHA says you should use disposable cutlery and plates, which should be thrown away after use. Anyone with the virus should also do their own laundry, but if they can’t, gather up all the clothes in one bag to be washed together.

You don't need to take another PCR test once the 10 days are complete.

If you test positive from a pre-flight test you must reschedule and isolate at home for 10 days. National Geographic Channels / Andy Davis

If you begin to develop symptoms, call DHA on 800 342 to book a virtual consultation.

After completing the isolation period you will receive a clearance certificate via SMS. You can get one via the Covid-19 DXB app or by calling 800 342.

DHA says people who are unable to isolate at home can opt for "institutional quarantine," but you have to pay for it.

What about if you are identified as a close contact in Dubai?

According to a document issued by DHA, close contacts are those who have been less than 1m apart for at least 15 minutes from someone with Covid-19, even if they were wearing a mask.

People are also considered a close contact if they have been in direct contact in the two days before the person tested positive or during the 10 days of their illness.

Close contacts must quarantine for seven days. The period begins two days before the confirmed case took a PCR test or showed symptoms. The period can end on day seven without testing if no symptoms develop. If symptoms do develop, the person must quarantine for 10 days.

What about people who test positive in Abu Dhabi?

If you have tested positive for coronavirus, you will receive a text message from Seha telling you to report to Mafraq Hospital's Prime Assessment Centre, near Baniyas, on the outskirts of the capital.

On arrival, patients are registered to Salamtak, an online health portal, and will have a medical check-up.

High-risk patients, such as the elderly, anyone with a chronic disease or people with severe symptoms, will take additional tests.

These include heart monitoring, blood tests, and X-ray, and CT scan followed by consultation with a doctor to determine if they need hospital care.

People with mild or no symptoms will be fitted with an electronic tracker watch and must quarantine for 10 days either at home or in a facility depending on their living arrangements. The requirement to wear a tracking watch was dropped for travellers.

In Abu Dhabi, Covid positive patients can also visit the Prime Assessment Centre in Al Mushrif at Al Mushrif Wedding Hall.

Anyone aged 60 and above, those with chronic diseases and people with symptoms who have been in contact with a positive case in Al Ain can go to the assessment centre in the Red Hall at Al Khabaisi daily from 8am to 10pm.

Alternatively, they can visit screening centres at Asharej, Al Sarouj and Al Hili from Saturday to Thursday, 8am to 7.30pm and Friday from 10am to 7.30pm.

What are the rules surrounding close contacts in Abu Dhabi?

Anyone who is vaccinated and in contact with a positive case must quarantine for seven days and get a PCR test, which must be repeated on day six. If you are not vaccinated, you must quarantine for 10 days, test and repeat the test again on day nine.

Those who are in contact with a positive case and enrolled in the self-quarantine programme should visit the Covid assessment centre in the Yellow Hall at Zayed Port, Al Mina.

If you are in Al Ain, visit the nearest Seha drive-through screening centre. Anyone with symptoms should visit Al Ain Hospital.

What are the penalties for not following the law about isolation or quarantine

You could be fined Dh50,000.

Updated: January 11th 2022, 10:14 AM