Coronavirus: Two-week waiting list to enter Abu Dhabi with COVID-19 test on border

Drive-thru testing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the screening cente in Abu Dhabi. (Reuters)

The rapid COVID-19 laser testing center that allows people to enter Abu Dhabi without organizing a test elsewhere is fully booked for over two weeks, according to its website.

Unlike Dubai, anyone who wants to enter the emirate of Abu Dhabi must present a negative coronavirus test at the border.

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

To help ease the process, authorities established a landmark rapid result COVID-19 testing center on the border at Ghantoot. It was originally possible to be tested on arrival without appointment, but high demand led authorities to change the rules so that a test required pre-booking an appointment via the Ghantoot website, accessible at: https://ghantoot.quantlase.com/appointment/update-details/

But on Monday, the earliest appointment available on the site was 15:30-16:00 p.m. on August 13, 2020 – over two weeks away from the current date.

A screenshot from the Ghantoot website showing a lack of options to book an appointment on August 13, 2020. The earliest available slot, as of July 27, was 15.30 on August 14, 2020. (Screengrab)

A screenshot from the Ghantoot website showing a lack of options to book an appointment on August 13, 2020. The earliest available slot, as of July 27, was 15.30 on August 14, 2020. (Screengrab)

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

That means that anyone wishing to travel to Abu Dhabi from Dubai or the five other emirates of the UAE must organize a coronavirus test at an alternative center before departing for the border.

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)

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)

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This could present difficulties as the test must have been taken within 48 hours of the time entering the emirate.

The PCR nasal test offered by most centers is also more expensive than the laser test offered at the border, costing around 370 dirhams ($100) compared to the 50 dirhams ($13) laser test.

The drive-thru testing center reportedly carries out approximately 4,000 tests a day using its pioneering DPI laser technique.

The UAE has been one of the leading countries on coronavirus testing and has managed to bring down the daily COVID-19 infection rate to around 200-350 new cases.

On Sunday, authorities said they conducted over 51,000 tests in 24 hours, finding 351 new cases.

Read more:

Coronavirus: COVID-19 PCR test needed to travel to UAE, here’s all you need to know

Coronavirus: Flying from Dubai to UK, European Union requires COVID-19 PCR test

Coronavirus: UAE to open registration for COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials nationwide

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Last Update: Monday, 27 July 2020 KSA 14:47 - GMT 11:47
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