Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi changes entry rules for residents to allow for 48-hour trips

Residents of the capital will be tested before they leave the emirate, instead of at clinics outside it

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Abu Dhabi has updated its travel rules to allow residents to take 48-hour trips outside the emirate.

Motorists must be tested in the city before they leave and take their results with them.

Previously, residents could leave Abu Dhabi but had to be screened before returning, at a clinic in Dubai or the Northern Emirates, to prove they were Covid-free.

Police at the border must check text message confirmation from testing centres or the government’s Al Hosn tracing app to ensure all drivers and any passengers are negative.

“Those leaving Abu Dhabi for short periods may visit a screening centre in the emirate to conduct a Covid-19 test before departing and present the result on return,” Abu Dhabi Government Media Office said.

Commuters travelling into Abu Dhabi from other emirates must still be tested before they arrive at the border.

At the weekend, hospitals and screening centres were packed as people took tests either to enter the capital or so they could take flights abroad.

Abu Dhabi introduced the system as it sought to drive down the number of coronavirus cases.

The presentation of a negative test result replaces a permit system that could be used only in exceptional circumstances.

Anyone crossing the border, such as those on Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Ain Road, will be stopped at police checkpoints.

The system is not intended for daily commuting but allows for necessary travel.

“People who ordinarily commute daily to Abu Dhabi are advised to reduce or limit their movement during this time, in order to protect themselves and their families from the risk of infection,” the government’s media office said last week.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes. Vehicles transporting goods and mail vans are exempt from the rule.

Employees not based in Abu Dhabi are still prohibited from entering the emirate.

People with medical appointments for cancer or kidney-related treatment do not need a Covid-19 test to enter Abu Dhabi.

Children under 12 are also exempt.

A full list of exemptions is available here: