Abu Dhabi to bring in new border entry rules for commuters

Drivers will undergo scans for signs of coronavirus with free rapid antigen testing available near by

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Abu Dhabi is to bring in new checks on commuters entering the emirate from within the UAE from Sunday, December 19 in the latest effort to tackle coronavirus.

Scanners that can detect signs that a person may have coronavirus will be introduced at crossing points.

Drivers and passengers will be scanned by EDE devices, which are a common sight in the capital's malls, or handheld devices as they cross the border. Vehicles would be required to briefly stop and police will be redeployed at borders from Sunday.

What is the EDE scanner used as part of Abu Dhabi’s new entry rules?

A security man uses the EDE scanner, a new screening system that allegedly detects whether or not people have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by using a mobile at Al Wahda Mall, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, June 29, 2021.  REUTERS/Vidhyaa Chandramohan.  NO RESALES.  NO ARCHIVES.

Anyone with signs that they may have the virus will be sent for a free rapid antigen test which delivers results in about 20 minutes.

If the test is positive, those who are residents of Abu Dhabi must follow the emirate's health guidelines, which are to isolate for ten days, and they will be fitted with a tracking wristband for this duration.

People from outside of the capital must return to the emirate from which they travelled and notify its local health authority of their test result.

Drivers and passengers are not required to show a negative PCR test to enter Abu Dhabi, which was the case between July 2020 and September 2021.

"EDE scanners use advanced technology to rapidly detect potential Covid-19 cases without storing personal information. Potential positive Covid-19 cases will be referred to an on-site testing centre, with a free antigen test provided, and results within 20 minutes," the Abu Dhabi government said.

Cases remain extremely low, with 0.05 per cent of the thousands of people tested daily found to have the virus, the government said.

In September 2021, a border checkpoint system that required drivers from Dubai to stop to show a negative Covid-19 test on an app was lifted after 14 months.

Checkpoint gates on the E11 motorway, near Ghantoot on the Dubai-Abu Dhabi border, remain in place after checks were dropped in September.

The capital continues to use the "green pass" system using the government's Al Hosn test-and-trace app.

People entering public places such as malls and public buildings must show they are fully vaccinated and have had a recent negative PCR coronavirus test.

Officials recorded 148 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, nearly three times the daily figure last week.

The number remains low compared with much of the past year. More than 90 per cent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated.

Updated: December 16, 2021, 1:28 PM