Dubai: If you, or people you know, are flying into the UAE during COVID-19, it is important to be aware of the quarantine procedures that have been put in place by UAE’s authorities to ensure public health and safety across the country.
Federal and local regulations have been put in place by the National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA), Dubai's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management and federal and local health authorities.
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Here is a guide to all you need to know about quarantine in the UAE.
What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
Isolation is separation of ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy, so they can start the treatment journey without infecting others.
Quarantine, on the other hand, is restriction of movement of those who may have been exposed to a communicable disease, but do not have a confirmed medical diagnosis to ensure they are not infected.
Quarantine in times of COVID-19
The UAE Government advises quarantining to those who may have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19.
Quarantined people must download the ALHOSN app. They must monitor their health, follow the directions from the health authorities and contact a doctor if they show symptoms.
Quarantining for those arriving into the UAE
According to NCEMA, anyone travelling to the UAE from abroad should commit to a home quarantine of 14 days and follow the instructions of the local health authorities.
In Dubai, you are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine only if you test positive at the airport on arrival. Passengers are already required to take a COVID-19 RT-PCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test 48 to 72 hours before flying to the UAE.
"If passengers opt to take the PCR test on arrival in Dubai, they must self-isolate until test results are received. If the test result is negative, passengers can leave the hotel and enjoy the trip as normal. However, if the test result is positive, passengers are asked to follow the advice of the Dubai Health Authority and self-isolate," Emirates airlines had said in an earlier statement.
On September 17, Abu Dhabi Media Office issued a detailed clarification on the quarantine guidelines for international travellers returning to Abu Dhabi. Passengers arriving to the UAE through Abu Dhabi will be subject to the following procedures:
• Undergo a PCR test for COVID-19.
• Register under quarantine system and receive an electronic tracking wristband at the border or entry point. The electronic wristband must be worn for 14 days in self-quarantine.
• Undergo a PCR test on Day 12
• Once a negative COVID-19 result is received, the wristband will be removed on Day 14.
If you are arriving at an airport in another emirate and then travelling to Abu Dhabi by road, the procedure will differ slightly.
If you have spent less than 14 days in another emirate after arrival in the UAE, you have to:
• Undergo a PCR test for COVID-19 at the Abu Dhabi border
• Register under quarantine system and receive an electronic tracking wristband at the border or entry point.
According to Resolution No.38 of 2020 Violating home quarantine procedures would make a person liable to a fine of Dh50,000 as it would expose the lives of others to danger.
How to quarantine at home
The UAE’s health authorities issued a joint advisory to people coming in to the UAE on how they can observe home quarantine. The steps include:
• Separate yourself from others at home
• Do not invite visitors or allow them to enter your house during this period
• Remain in your home, do not go to work, school, or public areas
• Do not use public transport or taxis.
• You should stay in a well-ventilated room and keep your door closed
• If you share any facility at home, please make sure you disinfect it thoroughly after every use with warm water and detergent then dry your items with a separate towel that only you would use
• It is advised when shopping or ordering online that you avoid direct contact with the delivery man and to ask that items are left outside, or in the porch, or as appropriate for your home.
• Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds at least then dry them well
• Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with tissue then dispose of it immediately in a sealed plastic bag
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if you haven’t washed your hands
• Monitor your symptoms and seek medical attention when needed. These include
o Difficulties breathing
o Sore throat
You must adhere to the quarantine instructions.
Important numbers for information related to COVID-19
Ministry of Health & Prevention - 800358
Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (Whatsapp) - 056 2312171
Dubai Health Authority - 800342
Estijaba - 8001717