Coronavirus in UAE: Abu Dhabi implements COVID-19 safety measures as flights resume

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Abu Dhabi airports implemented coronavirus precautionary measures as the national carriers gradually resume their flights through Abu Dhabi International Airport, state news agency WAM reported on Thursday.

The UAE had announced in June that it will allow residents and citizens to travel to “low risk” countries with regards to the coronavirus situation in them from June 23, after the country had suspended in March all passenger travel in and out of it as part of the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

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On July 1, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) said that travel for leisure or tourism from the UAE will not be allowed and announced a few categories and situations for which travel was allowed such as studying abroad, receiving medical treatment, and diplomatic missions among others.

On July 3, the UAE declared that citizens and residents can travel to any international destination given that the traveler adheres to the government’s new travel protocols.

General Manager for Abu Dhabi International Airport Mohammed Hussain Ahmed told WAM: “The procedures adopted by the airport include contactless control equipment in elevators, self-sanitizing escalators, and the use of modern technologies and Artificial Intelligence in the sanitation processes, in addition to social distancing and ensuring individuals wear face masks and gloves.”

He added that all travelers arriving in Abu Dhabi “must pass through a comprehensive assessment zone to track those exposed to confirmed coronavirus cases,” and afterwards they will have to undergo a PCR test to detect if they’re infected with COVID-19.

Read: Coronavirus: Etihad operates flights from Abu Dhabi to 29 destinations from July 1

The airport procedures are as follows:

“Smart sanitizing gates at the airport’s main entrances and exits, which will first measure a person’s temperature. They will then be sanitized using a safe and internationally-accredited smoke-based sanitizer from head to toe in less than three seconds. The alcohol-free sanitizing liquid kills 99.9 percent of viruses and germs, including COVID-19.”

Fifty three “contactless elevators” to take travelers to their next stop in the airport.

Travelers will “receive face masks and gloves provided by the airport through smart devices.”

“Passengers will be screened by thermal monitoring cameras that will verify whether they are wearing face masks and gloves as instructed and will alert officials if they are not complying with these instructions.”

“Passengers will reach the airport’s arrival registration area to complete their procedures online.”

“The arrival of passengers at the self-service platform for registration, as part of arrival procedures that were recently adopted. Facial recognition technology will assess the health and safety of the passengers, including their temperature, heart rate and breathing rate.”

For business class travelers, employees at the designated lounge will wear protective gear, the reception desk will have barriers and tables will be separated by a distance of two meters to ensure social distancing.

Travelers will also pass through a thermal screening checkpoint, which also checks that they are wearing face masks.

Shopping will be available on mobile apps or through the airport’s website and orders placed will be delivered to travelers before their flight.

When travelers have to start boarding their flights, they must practice social distancing. This will be enforced by allowing a limited number of passengers to board at a time. “They will also be asked to scan their boarding passes and show their passports, to limit direct interaction with employees.”

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