Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Committee to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic announced Monday that entering Abu Dhabi is permitted for all those who have received negative test results for coronavirus within the previous 48 hours.
According to the committee, the test results must be shown via the Al Hosn App or a text message from any hospital or any screening centre in the UAE that is affiliated with the National Screening Programme. The movement of mail and all types of goods is exempted.
The decision has been taken and announced in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Department of Health and Abu Dhabi Police.
The committee affirmed that the public must continue to adhere to all precautionary measures, including wearing of masks and observing physical distancing inside vehicles. However, the entry of non-Abu Dhabi-based workers is still prohibited.
The decision has been taken following the continued positive outcomes in curbing the spread of coronavirus in the emirate.
Abu Dhabi residents who work in other emirates said the new rule might help people facing emergency situations but wouldn't help for more regular visits.
“I work in Dubai, but have received permission to work from home since the movement restrictions were implemented. Despite the new permit regulation, I might continue to do the same. My children and family are here, and it would take me time to get a COVID-19 test done in order to come back home,” Farhana Khaleque, 40, a human resources admin offer from Bangladesh told Gulf News.
“Of course I am assuming that the movement restrictions will be lifted soon, otherwise I might have to go to work and stay at a Dubai hotel for a few days,” she added.
An Abu Dhabi resident who works at a Dubai-based oil and gas firm, said, "This permit system might help people who want to visit during an emergency. But it doesn't seem practical if I need to go to work every day, or even go in to my office in Dubai a few times a week. It would mean that I have to queue up at a screening centre every 2 days or so, and this could also expose me to people who are actually carrying the virus. So I think I'll simply ask my manager to extend my permission to work from home."
A doctor working in Al Ain said he might avail of the new permit process to travel to Sharjah and see his family.
“For now though, I have a permit to travel back and forth because I am in the healthcare sector, and have been able to enter Abu Dhabi when I present it,” he said.
Basheer K.A., 51, an interior design salesman from India, said he would most likely continue to delay his Abu Dhabi-based meetings until the restrictions are completely lifted.
“I am based in Dubai, and when the restrictions were first enforced, I had to cancel a meeting in Abu Dhabi. Now, based on this new permit system, I will check with my clients to see if they want the meeting, or if we can simply wait till all restrictions are lifted,” he said.