UAE announces updated travel protocol for unvaccinated citizens

ABU DHABI, 13th April, 2022 (WAM) -- During the UAE Government media briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Taher Al Ameri, Official Spokesman of the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA), announced the updated travel protocol for unvaccinated UAE citizens, which will come into force on 19th April, 2022.

During the briefing, Dr. Al Ameri stressed that the new protocol is in line with the UAE’s policy aimed at achieving sustainable recovery and the return to normalcy, noting that it allows unvaccinated individuals to travel if they can present a negative PCR test result taken 48 hours before their departure, and complete the travel application form on the Al Hosn app to change their status to green.

"We urge the public to follow the required precautionary measures for all passengers before and after travel, and the current situation regarding the pandemic at their travel destinations, as well as contact the country’s diplomatic missions abroad in case of suspected infection, and use the Tawajudi service provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation," he said.

Dr. Al Ameri highlighted the updates to the travel protocol for passengers arriving in the UAE, which will make unvaccinated individuals aged under 16 exempt from presenting a negative PCR test result upon arrival, provided that they adhere to all relevant preventive measures.

The UAE has recently seen a significant decline in COVID-19 infections, which is mainly due to the efforts of the health sector and relevant national authorities, he said, noting that the UAE has achieved many successes, due to the inter-agency cooperation and the community.

Since the start of the pandemic, all relevant authorities have been keen to launch proactive readiness plans, which include ensuring the readiness of response teams and the sustainability of the country’s infrastructure, as well as utilising national resources, strengthening strategic reserves, and establishing an accurate statistical system.

He noted that protecting these achievements depends on the public’s commitment, stressing the cooperation of community members is the best way to overcome the crisis and achieve recovery.

Dr. Al Ameri also pointed out that the UAE is continuing to explore the best methods and practices to address the pandemic, and is monitoring all local and international variants of COVID-19 to develop a proactive response plan that will create a new lifestyle based on widespread social awareness.

The response to the crisis is continuing, he added, noting that national authorities are monitoring developments, and the UAE always aims to protect the health and safety of everyone, as well as its national achievements and living standards.

The UAE tops a list of countries, in terms of rate of fully vaccinated individuals against COVID-19 in countries with a population of over 1 million, in an index issued by the ''Our World In Data'' website, he said.

"In the same index, the UAE ranked second globally in terms of number of tests per 1,000 people, and fourth in terms of the rate of vaccinated individuals per 100 people, as well as first in terms of rate of those who have received at least one vaccine dose," he added.

"The UAE ranked tenth globally in terms of number of tests administered, and ninth in having the lowest number of deaths, and we also note that no COVID-19 deaths were registered since 8th March, 2022," he further added.

Dr. Al Ameri stressed that the latest COVID-19 statistics confirm that the country has entered the recovery phase, and there is a steady decline in infections.

He then urged everyone to continue adhering to the precautionary measures, including by wearing face masks, practicing social distancing, sanitising hands and avoiding crowded areas.

Adhering to the precautionary measures and being socially responsible, as well as protecting the country’s achievements, are important now more than ever, in order to maintain the stability achieved in the face of new variants, he added.