International travellers arriving in Abu Dhabi are now required to wear a quarantine wristband until they complete a mandatory 14-day self-isolation under new government guidelines.
The free medically-approved tag is given to passengers, arriving from all countries, at any Abu Dhabi entry point.
The new regulations were set out by the Abu Dhabi Crisis, Emergency and Disasters Committee to curb the spread of Covid-19 and safeguard public health.
The series of protocols were posted on the Abu Dhabi Media Office Twitter account on Thursday.
Updated Covid-19 guidelines for those travelling to Abu Dhabi
• Passengers arriving directly to Abu Dhabi through any UAE port or entry point must take a PCR test and register under a quarantine system to receive an electronic wristband, to be worn for 14 days
• They must take a further PCR test on day 12 of the isolation period to ensure they are clear of the virus. If a negative test is confirmed, the wristband can be removed on day 14
• Passengers who spent less than 14 days in another emirate before coming to Abu Dhabi must also follow the regulation but the days spent outside the capital will be deducted from the total quarantine period
• Passengers who spent more than 14 days outside Abu Dhabi should follow the regulations already in place to enter
Those who arrive to the UAE through Abu Dhabi but wish to go straight to another emirate must undergo a PCR test within 96 hours of travel to the capital. On arrival, they must also take a DPI laser test and, if negative, can move on provided they sign a form stating their location and agreeing to abide by any regulations in place. If an arrival does not have a test, they must take one and wait for a negative result.
Health authorities will decide on where people may be asked to quarantine, depending on whether or not they live alone and can self-isolate without putting others at risk. Those who live with others may be asked to quarantine in a hotel or accommodation provided by authorities for 14 days. Families travelling together may quarantine at home together.
Such electronic devices have been used elsewhere as part of Covid-19 regulations.
In the early stages of the pandemic, Hong Kong directed people arriving in the region to be fitted with quarantine wristbands which feature a QR code to be scanned with a mobile phone.
The electronic bracelet is linked with an app, which is to be downloaded. The wearer is also given a code to activate the monitoring system.
During the quarantine period, the app can detect the strength of electronic signals at the person's home address, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
If a user strays outside their quarantine zone, a change in such signals is detected, and authorities will be alerted about the breach.
The UK Foreign Office has notified passengers of the quarantine measures in place in Abu Dhabi on its website.
"All arrivals in Abu Dhabi must isolate for 14 days on arrival and are likely to be required to wear a medically approved wristband for the duration of their quarantine," the Foreign Office stated.
Strict measures governing air travel remain in place across the Emirates to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Etihad reminded travellers last month that Abu Dhabi is not yet open to tourists and visitors because of coronavirus precautions.
Federal rules on entering the UAE were updated from August 12.
Changes allowed residents with valid visas to re-enter without the need to apply for permission from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA).
People returning to Abu Dhabi from overseas are encouraged, however, to visit uaeentry.ica.gov.ae, where they can submit their passport number and Emirates ID number to ensure they are permitted to enter the country.
What other safety measures are in place when flying to Abu Dhabi?
• Travellers will only be permitted to fly with Etihad if they have a negative PCR test result. Passengers must present a medical certificate or other relevant document clearly stating the type of test and the result
• Passengers – apart from those aged under 12 – will undergo thermal screening and PCR testing on arrival in Abu Dhabi
• Travellers must take a photocopy of their passport and UAE residency visa to be presented on arrival in Abu Dhabi
• Etihad advises passengers to purchase travel insurance before they fly