People are now required to be fully vaccinated, with a booster shot, to travel to Abu Dhabi. Anyone who received the second dose of a Covid vaccine more than six months ago must obtain a booster shot to enter the emirate. Abu Dhabi issued new guidelines for traveller to enter the emirate.
Over the weekend, some people were turned away at the border after refreshing the app and discovering that it had turned grey. People stopped at the border without the booster shot were required to go and take another PCR test to enter Abu Dhabi.
Decision comes at a time when the United Arab Emirates(UAE) is facing a nationwide surge in coronavirus cases, fueled by the new highly transmissible variant Omicron. In the official statement the Abu Dhabi government also said that one must have tested ‘negative’ for the coronavirus within the last two weeks to maintain their ‘green’ status within the emirate.
The government’s health app had earlier this week said that people entering the capital city of the UAE must posses a ‘green pass’, confirming their vaccination status. This app has now been updated to include the booster shot to attain the ‘green status’.
The emirate has taken a stricter approach to the virus than neighbouring Dubai, the freewheeling tourism-dependent hub. Abu Dhabi requires that residents show their green pass before entering public places or government buildings.
The UAE boasts among the world’s highest vaccination rates per capita. The country has fully vaccinated more than 90% of its population, health authorities have said. Although infections had plummeted in December, cases recently have skyrocketed to heights unseen in months.
The rule came into force at the start of the week and it applies to those who have had two doses of a Covid vaccine only, such as Pfizer-BioNTech. All adults in the UAE have since November been urged to get the booster shot, when officials said it was important to combat emerging strains of the Covid-19 virus.
In Abu Dhabi, where Al Hosn’s Green Pass is needed to enter most public places, everyone eligible to receive the booster needs to do so. It appears as though anyone who received their second dose within the past six months will maintain their Green Pass status, despite not yet having a booster, as long as they have a recent negative PCR test result.
In September, people who had received two shots of the Sinopharm vaccine were told it was mandatory to get the booster to maintain Green Pass status. This month all Abu Dhabi government workers were told they must have received the booster shot to enter the workplace. UAE citizens must also have received a booster shot to travel abroad.