20200714 abu dhabi border
Abu Dhabi border. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Dubai: The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee approved reduced COVID-19 precautions and guidelines which came in to effect this week.

From entry of travellers from within the UAE to the rules applicable for international passengers arriving in the emirates, several restrictions have been relaxed given positive indicators that signal the recovery phase of the pandemic according to the authority. Here is a summary of all the applicable rules, and this is primarily specific to Abu Dhabi unless mentioned otherwise.

Green Pass – Monday, February 28

The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee scrapped the green pass and EDE screening requirements for passengers from within the country to enter the emirate, from Monday, February 28. This means that if you’re heading to Abu Dhabi from Dubai or any other emirate, you will not need to show a Green Pass at the border, starting this Monday.

However, it is important to note that this is only applicable for entry into the emirate. Abu Dhabi still has the Green Pass system in place for entry to public spaces, events etc. which would mean that if you plan on visiting such places or attending events, you would need to have the Green Pass anyway. The operating capacity has also increased to 90 per cent at events, tourist attractions and commercial platforms in Abu Dhabi.

From Monday, Green Pass will still be required for:

- Entry to tourist attractions and commercial places

- Events and private events

- Abu Dhabi government building premises (employees, visitors and contractors) unless you have a vaccine exemption certificate.

Getting the Green Pass

The Green Pass system on Al Hosn was updated in January to include the booster shot requirement. As per the update, you would only get the Green Pass if you had also taken the third booster shot six months after taking the second vaccine shot.

Once you have received the booster shot, you would also need to get a negative PCR test report, which would then turn the status Green for the next 14 days.

Green list for international travel no longer applicable

Abu Dhabi had a green list system in place for travellers from certain countries. Anyone returning from a green list country to Abu Dhabi did not have to quarantine – including those who are unvaccinated.

As of February 26, the Green List no longer applicable and all international passengers can arrive in the emirates without the need for quarantine. In addition to this, for vaccinated travellers, the PCR test requirement has also been scrapped.

For non-vaccinated travellers, a negative PCR test conducted within 48 hours of departure or a recovery certificate with a QR code proving they have recovered from coronavirus within a month of the date of travel is what is required.

New COVID-19 cases or those in contact

Abu Dhabi authorities also added that the wristband requirement during home quarantine has been scrapped.

In addition to this, the rules applicable to people who have been in contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases has also been changed. Home quarantine requirement has been removed but these individuals must get tested daily, with a PCR test, for five consecutive days.

These rules differ in Dubai, where confirmed close contacts with COVID-19 cases need not quarantine or test if there are no symptoms. 

Face masks

People can choose not to wear face masks outside, Abu Dhabi and Dubai's crisis authorities confirmed. Face masks are still mandatory in public indoor spaces such as malls, schools etc.