Coronavirus: Entering Abu Dhabi now requires booking appointment for a COVID-19 test

Cars line up as people wait to enter a drive thru testing centre for the COVID-19 coronavirus in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi on April 2, 2020. (AFP)

Entering the UAE emirate of Abu Dhabi now requires pre-booking an appointment for a COVID-19 test on the border, according to a statement by Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis & Disasters Committee on Wednesday night.

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The emirate only allows entry to people who can show a negative coronavirus test result, but was previously carrying out rapid laser screening tests at the border without requiring a booking.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

As of Wednesday, this policy appears to have changed, with authorities citing high demand as the reason for the change.

Anyone wishing to enter Abu Dhabi must now pre-book an appointment via the “Ghantoot” website.

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“Due to high demand for the laser-based DPI screening to enter #AbuDhabi, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis & Disasters Committee approved a new process in which the service provider will only offer screening based on pre-booked appointments via the website: https://ghantoot.quantlase.com/appointment/update-details/,” tweeted Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis & Disasters Committee.

“Travellers with a negative COVID-19 test (PCR) result will continue to be allowed to enter the emirate within 48 hours from receiving the result,” it added.

The laser testing is a pioneering technique that gives rapid results and costs only 50 dirhams ($13).

“The laser-based DPI technique can detect virus-caused inflammation in blood samples within seconds,” the office said in a Twitter statement.

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Abu Dhabi retains border policy amid slowdown in cases

Abu Dhabi has kept stricter entry regulations in place than its neighboring emirate Dubai, which opened to international tourists on July 7.

While tourists must be tested for COVID-19, Dubai does not require residents of neighboring emirates to be tested when entering the emirate.

The measures remain in place despite a slowdown in new coronavirus cases across the UAE.

On Wednesday, the UAE recorded no new coronavirus-related deaths over the past 24 hours and only 275 new cases.

“Today we announce no deaths related to COVID-19 in the UAE in the last 24 hours. Our deepest gratitude to our frontline heroes and to society for their commitment to adhering to precautionary measures. We must continue our collective efforts in tackling this challenge,” tweeted Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

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Last Update: Monday, 10 August 2020 KSA 11:43 - GMT 08:43
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