Abu Dhabi: With new rules coming into effect today [Sunday], all those entering and staying in Abu Dhabi could have to take up to three tests for COVID-19.
To enter the UAE capital, people must have tested negative for a PCR nasal swab or DPI blood test up to 48 hours prior. This has been the existing rule in place since June. However, now, anyone staying in the emirate for up to eight days will have to take more tests, under new rules by the Abu Dhabi Crisis, Emergency and Disasters Committee.
Firstly, those who are staying in the emirate for longer than four days must take a PCR test on the fourth day. Counting starts from the day he or she entered Abu Dhabi — day one.
Secondly, those staying in Abu Dhabi for up to eight days in a row must take another PCR test on the eighth day (besides the first test taken on day four).
The new rules do away with the previous arrangement, where anyone entering the emirate was required to take a PCR test on the sixth day of entry only. Now, starting from today [Sunday], this sixth-day test is no longer required.
So, for example, if you are entering Abu Dhabi on Sunday (Day 1) and staying in the emirate for four or more days, a PCR test is mandatory on Wednesday (Day 4). If you are staying for eight or more consecutive days, a PCR test is mandatory on Wednesday as well as on the following Sunday (Day 8).
These rules apply to anyone entering Abu Dhabi, including residents who may have exited the emirate and are returning. However, volunteers in the COVID-19 vaccine trials are exempt from these measures, and they can use the emergency vehicle lanes for a smooth journey.
Fines for ignoring tests
In case someone doesn’t take the test on day four and day eight, he or she can be fined. Regarding the cost of the tests, it depends on the type of test and who is administering it. For example, the rapid DPI blood test is Dh50, while the PRC swab is around Dh180. The requirement for booking an appointment will also depend on the testing centre you visit and the health authority operating it.
There are options available from Dubai Health Authority, Ministry of Health and Prevention, and Seha Abu Dhabi Health Services Company.