Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and the UAE Remove PCR Test Requirements for Vaccinated Travelers
In a welcome change for all of us international travelers who have done the right thing and have been vaccinated against Covid-19, The United Arab Emirates has removed the PCR testing requirements for entry as of late last month.
This will apply to all vaccinated travelers with approved vaccines. If you are unvaccinated (and I should ask why at this point, seriously…) you will still be required to take a PCR test 48 hours before your arrival into the UAE.
Note: This information is valid as of the day of posting. For the most up to date information, please consult the IATA website, Sherpa, the government health authority, or your airline directly for the best information.
The information comes to help support the efforts across the entire UAE to have a sustainable recovery and at the same time make sure public health measures are still in effect.
This is welcome news for those looking to escape the cold winter weather at home.
From the official Abu Dhabi website:
As of 26 February 2022, you no longer need a test before you fly to Abu Dhabi if you are fully vaccinated.
If you are not fully vaccinated you must present a negative PCR test result taken withing 48 hours OR a Covid-19 recovery certificate. Your recovery certificate must be dated within 30 days of departure and have a QR code. Children under 16 are exempt.
You’ll continue to receive a free of charge PCR test when you land in Abu Dhabi. There is no need to re-test when you are here.
As with most government rules and regulations, there are a few bullet points to consider before you just hop on a plane and head to Dubai
First, your vaccination certificate MUST have a QR code. This is to prevent tampering with the certificate itself. Simply having the white CDC card is not enough. Our state of Washington offers a digital record and QR code that shows not only our vaccination record but also our booster shot.
If you do not have a QR code from the appropriate authorities, you will still be required to get a PCR test 48 hours in advance
Also, if you are unvaccinated, you will also be required to test and have that test administered 48 hours before your trip.
Most of the vaccines administered in the US are valid for entry including Pfizer, Moderna, and the J&J vaccine. Other approved vaccines are:
Entry into Public Places
In Abu Dhabi, entry into certain public places are limited to those who are vaccinated, exempt, or children. NOTE that these requirements do not apply to Dubai. These include:
• Shopping Centers
• Restaurants and Cafes
• Recreational Facilities
• Health Clubs and Resorts
• Museums and Clutural Centers
• Theme Parks
To gain access, you will need to have green status in your Al Hosn app. This can be optained by getting a test every 14 days, and have that test administered in the UAE. When you arrive in Abu Dhabi, you will get a free PCR test. This will count as the test you need to stay green in the app.
Wearing of face masks outdoors is optional but will be required in ALL indoor spaces.
No more Required Testing on Arrival
As part of this new program, the testing on arrival program will also cease, allowing a quicker transition through immigration, baggage, security, and ultimately your destination. You are no longer required to test when you land.
Wristbands are Gone
Previously when you tested positive you were given a tracking wristband that made sure that you didn’t leave your quarantine facility if you tested positive.
This feature is also now gone, so if you do happen to test positive, know that you’re every inch of travel isn’t monitored by the UAE government.
Checkpoints between Abu Dhabi and Dubai
Over the past few months there were checkpoints established between the two emirates, verifying the AlHosn app and your green status. As of 28 February these have been removed.
You will no longer need to stop at the border and undergo a check or testing to arrive into either Emirate.
Use of the Alhosn app is, however, obligatory for entry into any of the public spaces mentioned above.
Overall, I’m happy to see this testing requirement lifted. Masks will still be required inside (smart) and outdoor spaces will be optional. We’ve been vaxxed and boosted, and to be able to know that we have one more layer of travel scrutiny removed makes me feel like we might be getting back to some semblance of normality again.