Coronavirus: What Abu Dhabi’s relaxed COVID-19 rules mean for residents, businesses

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In two weeks, Abu Dhabi is set to resume all economic, tourism, cultural and entertainment activities, following an announcement from the Abu Dhabi Media Office.

The emirate introduced a slew of measures in March to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, closing tourist attractions, mosques, schools and universities, gyms, spas. Work-from-home measures were introduced, events were also canceled or postponed, and night-time movement restrictions were put in place.

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But now, the emirate is looking to re-open as mass testing and preventative measures have helped lower the daily rate of cases, the media office said in a tweet, citing the Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee for COVID-19 Pandemic.

“All economic, tourism, cultural and entertainment activities in the emirate will fully resume, while precautionary procedures already in place will be enhanced to preserve all health gains achieved,” it said.

The announcement came on the same day that the UAE announced it had approved the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine as safe to use.

Here are the updates rules and regulations for Abu Dhabi

What coronavirus regulations are in place in Abu Dhabi?

Many restrictions have already been relaxed. Malls reopened at the start of May at 30 percent capacity, which increased over time. Yas Island’s theme parks – Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld – reopened in July. The new rules would suggest that other restrictions – such as live events, spas, public seating areas, and other entertainment venues – could now also be lifted or relaxed.

What do the new rules mean?

It means that tourism, entertainment, cultural and economic businesses that were closed or limited due to coronavirus regulations can plan to reopen by Wednesday, December 23, before Christmas. While clarification has yet to be determined, this could possibly impact allowed capacity and workplace closures.

Which businesses will be affected by the new announcement?

This is yet to be determined, but the announcement would suggest any business in the tourism, entertainment, cultural and economic fields.

Does the announcement mean the border will be opened?

At present, no announcement has been made on any changes to the Abu Dhabi restrictions. Currently, anyone entering Abu Dhabi must provide a negative COVID-19 test result at the border that has been taken within the previous 48 hours. Those staying in Abu Dhabi for four or more days must then take a COVID-19 PCR test, followed by a third test on the eighth day in the emirate.

Will testing continue?

Yes. The media office has said “the committee and its partners will continue all efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which includes active tracing and mass testing across the emirate, proving free tests for communities with high population density an industrial zone workers, and periodically testing all employees in vital sectors such as shopping malls and restaurants every two weeks. The committee will also continue the humanitarian efforts made during this period to stabilize the community and address the needs of all of its members.”

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Will I still have to wear a face mask?

Face masks continue to be mandatory UAE-wide when in public places. The Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee for COVID-19 Pandemic have renewed its call to residents to “continue their cooperation and commitment to follow preventative and precautionary measures and to make them a way of life,” a statement from the Emirates state news agency WAM said.

Read more:

Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi to resume all normal activity within two weeks

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

Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi vaccine trial participants not required to quarantine

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