People will have to prove they have been screened for Covid-19 to visit many public places in Abu Dhabi, under new rules starting on Tuesday, June 15.
The green pass system will be used everywhere from public parks and beaches to malls, hotels and large supermarkets. Gyms, swimming pools, entertainment centres, restaurants and cafes will also require proof for entry.
To obtain a green pass people must be vaccinated and/or tested for Covid-19.
Proof must be shown via the Al Hosn app.
On Monday, managers urged visitors to have the app installed and ready to use to prevent delays.
It is expected security guards may manually check visitors’ Al Hosn status initially, but over time scanners could be used to manage entry via the QR code on the app.
Entry will be refused to everyone except those who can prove their status.
No green pass, no entry
A spokeswoman for Farah Experiences, which runs Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi and CLYMB Abu Dhabi, as well as Qasr Al Watan, said all visitors over the age of 16 will be required to prove their green pass status.
"Preliminarily, staff at the entry gates of each attraction will ask guests to present their green pass on the Al Hosn application for manual validation," a spokeswoman said.
"At a later stage, digital scanners will be installed to facilitate easier access to the theme parks and attractions."
The green pass will only be used to manage entry and will not replace any precautionary measures inside the attractions such as wearing masks, she said.
It is not yet clear how venues will manage queues of people waiting to enter, particularly during the hot summer months.
A picture was shared on social media of Abu Dhabi Mall, which has built a queue lane inside the car park where people will show their Al Hosn app.
Aldar Malls, which include Yas Mall, have created different lanes for their visitors to have their Al Hosn app reviewed.
Saoud Khoory, chief retail officer at Aldar Investments, said it had "dedicated checkpoints and queues set up inside entrances", away from the heat outside.
"Our protocol includes segregated access for families, females and individual shoppers to ensure quick and effective verification of the green pass upon entry."
Staff have been trained on the system and additional employees will be stationed at the checkpoints to ensure it runs smoothly, he said.
Patrick Hegarty, co-founder of Vogue Fitness, said they will be checking their clients’ green passes manually, until best practices are revealed by the government.
Warning signs are already in place, and attendants will be on hand in each of the gym chain’s six Abu Dhabi branches, to verify visitors' apps as they arrive.
“The staff have been trained on how to deal with non-compliance,” Mr Hegarty said.
“If someone doesn’t have a green pass and gets angry and still wants to enter, we have done our staff training and created a point of escalation to upper management."
Mr Hegarty said the notice period had given facilities and customers time to adjust to the changes.
“I think everyone in Abu Dhabi pretty much knows of the new procedures now."
Dwayn Riley, marketing manager at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa said the hotel will organise manual check points at main entry and exit points.
“Security will analyse each visitor's Al Hosn app and perform temperature checks before allowing them to enter the hotel's facilities.
“The hotel will also feature easy step guidelines at our check-in counters to support international travellers who are not familiar with the new measures.”
Guests would only have to show their green status on the one occasion.
Mr Riley said he did not expect the new rules to have an impact on visitor numbers.
“The properties continue to see a healthy increase in footfall post the pandemic lockdown and we remain optimistic as the travel market re-opens," he said.
How to make Al Hosn go green?
The Al Hosn app turns green if a person has been vaccinated and/or been tested for Covid-19 recently.
A negative PCR result is required to obtain a green pass.
But its duration will be dependent on whether the person has been vaccinated, and how long for.
- Anyone who has been vaccinated and received their second dose at least 28 days earlier, or were volunteers in vaccine trials, will keep their green status for 30 days following a negative PCR test.
- Those who received their second dose less than 28 days earlier will remain green for 14 days following a negative test.
- Anyone who has received their first dose and is waiting for an appointment for their second will keep their green status for seven days following a negative test. Green status will also be maintained for seven days for those with vaccine exemption certificates, used by people who cannot take the vaccine for medical reasons, who receive a negative PCR test result.
- People who have received their first dose but are late to their second appointment by 48 days or more and those eligible who are yet to be vaccinated will only keep their green status for three days.
Once the PCR result validity period ends, Al Hosn will turn grey for everyone.
A red icon indicates a person tested positive for Covid-19.
It can take up to two days to receive a PCR test result, but most centres report within 24 hours.
The move comes as other countries in the region have also tightened restrictions on unvaccinated citizens and residents.
Saudi Arabia plans to bar people from its shopping malls from August 1 unless they have been vaccinated against the virus.
Shoppers will require at least one vaccine dose to enter, authorities said on Sunday.