Beginning today, Emiratis and residents entering and staying in Abu Dhabi, from another emirate, can expect to undergo up to three Covid-19 tests.
The first is needed to enter Abu Dhabi. People must have a negative PCR nasal swab or DPI blood test result that was received within the past 48 hours, as has been the case for several months. But more testing is needed by anyone seeking to stay in the emirate for up to eight days.
The changes, brought in by the Abu Dhabi Crisis, Emergency and Disasters Committee, require anyone who plans to stay in the emirate longer than four consecutive days to undergo a PCR test on the fourth day. The day of arrival into Abu Dhabi is counted as day one.
Those staying in Abu Dhabi for up to eight consecutive days must undergo another PCR test on the eighth day.
For example, if someone enters Abu Dhabi on Sunday, the first day, and plans to say longer than eight consecutive days, they must undergo a PCR test on Wednesday, the fourth day, as well as the following Sunday, the eighth day.
Volunteers in the Covid-19 vaccine trials are exempt from these measures.
The rapid DPI blood test costs Dh50; the PRC swab is typically Dh180.
Those who fail to take the PCR test on day four and eight could face fines.
The stricter regulations were brought in to "enhance preventive measures for the early detection of Covid-19," the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office said.
The previous "day six" test is no longer be needed, it said.
Previously, people needed a negative DPI or Covid-19 test result, received within the past 48 hours, to enter the capital. Those staying on for at least six consecutive days would have to take a PCR test on the sixth day.
Restrictions on entry to Abu Dhabi have been in force since June 2 to stem the spread of the coronavirus. A permit system previously allowed people to enter in some circumstances.