Passengers returning to Abu Dhabi from abroad who have received the coronavirus vaccine are no longer required to quarantine upon entry to the emirate, Abu Dhabi Media Office announced on Wednesday in a Twitter post.
Abu Dhabi currently requires international travelers to adhere to a 14-day quarantine on arrival under regulations aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus.
But on Wednesday, The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee for COVID-19 Pandemic said that participants in the Phase III clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccine, as well as those who had since received the vaccine under the National Vaccination Program, would not be required to quarantine.
The UAE hosted the world’s first Phase III trials of a coronavirus vaccine candidate produced by Chinese drug maker Sinopharm, with over 30,000 participants volunteering. It has since approved limited emergency use of the vaccine under the National Vaccination Program, with priority given to medical and essential workers.
“Vaccine trial participants are identified by a gold star in the Alhosn app. When traveling from abroad, they must take a PCR test before traveling and upon entry into the emirate but are not required to quarantine,” the announcement said.
Alhosn is the UAE’s official COVID-19 results and contact tracing app.
The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee for Covid-19 Pandemic has approved special measures for participants in the Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine or the National Vaccination Programme. pic.twitter.com/7gkljya4CZ— مكتب أبوظبي الإعلامي (@admediaoffice) November 25, 2020
PCR tests still required
While no longer required to quarantine, participants in the Phase III trials must still take a PCR test on arrival, while participants in the National Vaccination Program need to take three PCR tests: on arrival, on the fourth day after they landed, and again on the eighth day.
Both categories are also required to take PCR tests before they travel.
According to Abu Dhabi Media Office, the special measures for participants in the Phase III clinical trials apply from the first dose, while for National Vaccination Program participants they apply 28 days after the second dose.
“Participants in the vaccination program are identified by the letter E in the Alhosn app. When traveling from abroad, they must take a PCR test before traveling, upon entry into the emirate and on the 4th and 8th days after entry,” the announcement said, adding that they are not required to quarantine.
“All participants are not required to take a test to enter from within the UAE.”
Additionally, the special measures are only valid if the participant’s Alhosn app shows their special status, which is linked to taking a PCR test every two weeks.