Expo 2020 Entry portal
Image Credit: Supplied/Expo

Expo 2020 Dubai on Wednesday announced new COVID-19 protocols for vistors to the world fair when it kicks off in October. 

The updated rules say:

  • Visitors aged 18 and above will be required to present proof of any vaccine recognised by their national government or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours.
  • Non-vaccinated ticket-holders who have not been tested within this period can test at the PCR testing facility adjacent to the Expo 2020 site.
  • A network of testing centres across the city will be available and can be found on the Expo 2020 website.
  • On presentation of any valid Expo 2020 ticket, alongside an Expo 1-Day or Multi-Day Pass, the PCR test will be free of charge.

Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The UAE continues to drive the global tourism recovery, and Expo 2020 Dubai will be the only global gathering of this size and cultural diversity since the start of COVID-19. By updating our vaccination and testing requirements, we are opening up a world of discovery and education for every visitor from every corner of the planet, enabling the world to experience Expo 2020’s incredible offering in a safe and secure manner.

“As we prepare to welcome tourists to the UAE and visitors to Expo 2020, we need to build on our successes in combating COVID 19, where we have seen a decline of nearly 84 per cent in cases in the past eight months. Our commitment to the health and safety of all visitors, participants and staff will remain our number one priority. We will continue to follow the guidance of the leading science and medical experts, adjusting our measures as appropriate in our commitment to hosting an exceptional experience that all the world can enjoy. This enhanced measure is responsible, agile and necessary as we prepare to open our doors to the world.”

The measures align with wider strategies across the UAE, including the strict COVID-19 measures and testing programmes operated by the UAE’s world-class airports and ports. As of September 2021, the UAE has administered almost 19 million vaccination doses and fully immunised 80 per cent of its population. Dubai has seen a steady influx of visitors since it reopened to tourists in July 2020, and the emirate welcomed 2.85 million visitors in the first half of 2021, with numbers predicted to accelerate in the fourth quarter, boosted by Expo 2020 Dubai and the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Dimitri Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the governing body of World Expos, said: “Dubai’s effective strategy to manage COVID-19 has allowed Expo preparations to progress smoothly, and the enhanced requirements announced by Expo 2020 organisers today strengthen the Expo’s goal of bringing everyone back together to join the making of a new world. In the face of the pandemic, our collective resolve for solidarity has only been strengthened as the UAE and all international participants have persevered in their commitment to realising a safe and meaningful World Expo.”

Expo’s robust plans include the mandatory vaccination of all Expo and International Participant staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers. On site sanitisation stations, mandatory face-masks both indoor and outdoor and two-metre social distancing will be maintained.