UAE Land border Al Dhara oman border
Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: From Tuesday, March 29, 2022, people arriving in the UAE via land borders will no longer be required to do a pre-departure PCR test. Instead, incoming passengers have to go through EDE scanners (Exponential Deep Examination) at the border crossings.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) and the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) updated the entry procedures for people entering the UAE through the country's land ports, making the announcement on March 24.

In the announcement, NCEMA also reiterated the importance of having the Green Pass on the Al Hosn Application to access some public places.

So, if you are travelling to the UAE by land, here are the COVID-19 guidelines you need to be aware of.

Travelling by land: Pre-departure PCR test scrapped

As per NCEMA, these are the latest COVID-19 rules for travellers coming through the UAE's land borders:

1. All vaccinated and non-vaccinated passengers coming to the UAE through land ports are allowed to enter the country without the need to conduct a pre-entry PCR test.

2. However, individuals must conduct an EDE test upon arrival.

3. If the result is positive, a PCR test must be done and entry will not be allowed until the results are in. To find out the latest guidelines on what you should do if you test positive, read here.

4. All passengers in a vehicle have to perform the EDE scanner.

What is the Al Hosn application?
Al Hosn is the UAE’s official app for contact tracing and health status related to COVID-19. On the Al Hosn app, you will be able to receive:
• COVID-19 test results and a record of all previous COVID-19 results with their dates.
• A notification if you have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
• Vaccination information, including the type of vaccine you have taken and the dates when the doses were given.
The app also facilitates sharing test reports and vaccination certificates. If you are a citizen, resident or visitor to the UAE, it is important to download the Al Hosn App.

Green Pass mandatory for public places

NCEMA and ICP also stressed the need to adhere to the Green Pass protocol for entering public events and places. In Abu Dhabi, for example, it is mandatory to present the Al Hosn Green Pass for social events, tourist attractions and cultural sites.

Even if you are not fully vaccinated, you can get the Green Pass on the Al Hosn App. However, it is only valid for 48 hours after a negative PCR test result. 

The validity period of a Green Pass on Al Hosn is dependent on the individual's vaccination status. Depending on your COVID-19 vaccination status, your Green Pass will be active for a certain period.

• Fully vaccinated: Individuals who have both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine along with a booster dose after six months but must have a negative PCR test result every 14 days.

• Those who have a medical exemption: If you have an official medical exemption, a negative PCR test is required every seven days. 

However, if you fall under this category and have also recovered from a COVID-19 infection, a negative PCR test result is required every 14 days.

• Children under the age of 16 do not need to undergo a PCR test to obtain a Green Pass.

• Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated: A negative PCR test every 48 hours.

Travelling by air: PCR tests not required for vaccinated passengers

If you are travelling to the UAE by air and are fully vaccinated, you no longer need a negative PCR test result. However, unvaccinated passengers would need to present a negative PCR test result, with the test conducted within 48 hours of their flight’s departure time. This announcement was made by NCEMA on February 25.