Abu Dhabi introduces new COVID-19 border restrictions: Everything you need to know

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Abu Dhabi on Wednesday introduced new land border checks to control the spread of COVID-19.

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Starting Sunday, the United Arab Emirates’ capital will require anyone entering through land borders to undergo a rapid Exponential Deep Examination (EDE) scan to determine whether or not they have COVID-19, according to the Abu Dhabi Media Office.

The test involves a device being held up to a person’s face for a few seconds.

If it detects a possible COVID-19 infection the person will have to undergo an antigen test on-site to confirm the presence of the virus, with results produced in around 20 minutes.

Both the antigen test and the EDE scan will be free of charge.

EDE scanning technology was developed in Abu Dhabi and purports to detect COVID-19 by measuring changes in electromagnetic waves.

Abu Dhabi implemented border controls early in the pandemic, requiring all visitors to present a negative PCR test.

The United Arab Emirates capital lifted border controls on September 19 as national case numbers dropped.

COVID-19 cases in the UAE have been steadily rising this week. A total of 148 new cases were detected on Wednesday, up from 110 the previous day and 92 on Monday.

Numbers, however, remain far below earlier in the year that saw a peak of around 3,000 new cases a day in February and around 2,000 a day in June.

The country is also introducing travel restrictions to certain countries as the omicron variant raises concerns.

On Wednesday, the UAE banned travel to and from the Republic of Congo.

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Watch: First cars enter Abu Dhabi from Dubai without need for COVID-19 entry tests

Explainer: How do Abu Dhabi’s new COVID-19 scanners work?

Abu Dhabi authorizes use of EDE scanners to detect COVID-19 infections

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